Health Check Podcast: What do you say to a child facing trauma?

Parents should not judge a child's problem through the lens of an adult. 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 or 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 the second part of our series on trauma-informed care, ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks to Ms Tracy Wee. Principal Medical Social Worker at the Institute of Mental Health. She finds out how parents can make use of the approach to help their children, who may have been bullied or experienced a traumatic event.

In the earlier episode on trauma-informed care, Joyce hosted 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. They discussed what trauma-informed care is about, the common traumatic events among children seeking help today and how the approach can benefit others.

Highlights (click/tap above):

01:34 Importance of being trauma-informed 

03:16 How can parents cope with their children's mental problems

07:30 What can parents do to support their children

10:01 What should parents avoid doing

16:14 Tips for parents to deal with children's trauma

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

Edited by: Eden Soh

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