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Trauma systems therapy for refugee children and families

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Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R) is an innovative, trauma-informed multi-tiered approach to mental health prevention and intervention with refugee children and their families. TST-R was developed as an adaptation of Trauma Systems Therapy (TST), which is an organizational and clinical model that focuses on both a child's dysregulation and the social environmental context that may be contributing to ongoing symptoms in the aftermath of trauma. TST-R adaptations address multiple barriers to care for refugees and their families through innovative mental health service delivery including multi-tiered approaches to community engagement and stigma reduction, embedding of services in the school setting, partnership building, and the integration of cultural brokering throughout all tiers of intervention to provide cultural knowledge, engagement, and attention to the primacy of resettlement stressors. TST-R has been shown to be effective in engaging refugee youth in services and reducing symptoms of PTSD and depression.




Benson, M. A., Abdi, S. M., Miller, A. B., & Ellis, B. H. (2018). Trauma systems therapy for refugee children and families. In Mental Health of Refugee and Conflict-Affected Populations: Theory, Research and Clinical Practice (pp. 243–259). Springer International Publishing.

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