Juan, center, in class at UConn.

Early Intervention Is Key To Treating Trauma

With reports showing that the majority of female juveniles who have committed crimes in Connecticut have experienced traumatic events, mental health advocates are pushing for early intervention to identify and treat trauma. Dr. Robert Franks, vice president of the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut and director of the Connecticut Center for Effective Practice, said that evidence shows that experiencing trauma can lead to involvement in the criminal system. “There is a very clear link between trauma and criminal activities,” he said. He said trauma can affect adolescents’ behavior in several ways: the child may re-experience the event, through memory or dreams; may become more anxious or paranoid; may shut down emotions; or may experience physical problems. He said that trauma can be identified by screening and interviews. Franks said trauma has received increased attention in the state since the December shootings in Newtown.

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