Health Check Podcast: Trauma is common: Focus on what happened, not what's wrong

Trauma has affected young children in terms of experiencing family violence recently. PHOTO: ST FILE

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is adopting trauma-informed care throughout the organisation. It's an approach that assumes that a person is more likely than not to have experienced a traumatic event. And it seeks to not re-traumatise patients or blame them for their efforts to manage their symptoms. In trauma-informed care, you would ask "What happened to you?” instead of "What's wrong with you?"

In this episode, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo finds out more about this approach from Dr Ann-Marie Aboud Lo Castro, principal clinical psychologist at the department of developmental psychiatry and the project lead of the trauma-informed care approach at IMH.

Here are some of the questions addressed in this podcast: What is trauma-informed care and how new is it? What are the common traumatic events among children seeking help at IMH? How will trauma-informed care benefit these children? What does this approach look like and can it benefit others too? (Hint: It can also be applied in workplaces)

Highlights (click/tap above):

04:39 How can we identify a traumatised child?

06:09 What is trauma play?

07:56 How does being trauma-informed help understand a traumatised child?

12:27 Tips on how to deal with a traumatised child at home

16:38 How would a child be treated?

Produced by: Joyce Teo (, Ernest Luis, Teo Tong Kai and  Eden Soh

Edited by: Eden Soh

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