Dear Kelley,

I am taking care of my grandson. His mother does see him. However, I have custody. I read that children who experience trauma are more likely to get involved with drugs and suffer from depression. I’m concerned about my grandson’s experiences and how they could affect him.


Concerned Grandmother

Dear Concerned Grandmother,

Thank you for your submission.  According to SAMHSA, more than two thirds of children reported at least one traumatic event by age 16. Traumatic events can include: psychological, physical, or sexual abuse, community or school violence, witnessing or experiencing domestic violence, national disasters or terrorism, sexual exploitation, sudden or violent loss of a loved one, refugee or war experiences, military family-related stressors, physical or sexual assault, neglect, serious accidents or life-threatening illness ( .

It’s important to recognize the signs of traumatic stress.  They may be different in each child. Young children often react differently than older children. Children can and do recover from traumatic events, and you play a very important role in their recovery. An essential part of that recovery is having a supportive caregiving environment, as well as access to effective, trauma-informed treatments. To learn more, visit

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