All violent crimes, sexual assaults, domestic violence, car accidents, natural or man-made disasters, whether small-scale or national, are traumatic events.
Victims of any of these events need specialised care to be able to recover mentally and emotionally from the measurable and profound changes in our brains, in our behaviours and attitudes, which if unattended, can result in the worst forms of deviant behaviour and in violent crimes. (The deviant behaviour of Osmond Baboolal is one such example of unresolved trauma ).
TRAUMATIC EVENTS are defined as unexpected, life-threatening or perceived to be life-threatening events that we have little or no control over, that happen to us OR that we witness happening to others.
In addition, trauma experts regard all ongoing abuse and neglect of children as traumatic. We must, therefore, conclude that Trinidad and Tobago has experienced considerable traumatic events. This does not just impact only on individuals, but also on families, communities, and finally the nation, impeding our national development. The effects of untreated trauma include severe psychological dysfunction, violent crime, gang activity, drug and alcohol use, being unable to work, psychiatric illnesses such as depression, suicide and homicide.
Most at-risk youth have a minimum of two (2) clearly established traumatic events in their lives before they reach 12 years of age. A report on the screening of applicants (ages 16-21 years) for year 2009 entry into the Ministry of National Security’s SYSP (Specialised Youth Service Programmes) youth-at-risk residential programmes indicates the majority of applicants had experienced several traumatic events.
There is a Critical Need for NATIONAL TRAUMA CLINICS in TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO to heal our victims of Trauma.