Trauma-Informed Care: A Paradigm Shift Needed for Services With Homeless Veterans


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Abstract

Purpose of Study:Exposure to traumatic events is a highly prevalent, although often overlooked, aspect in the lives of homeless veterans. In this study, the prevalence and correlates of potentially traumatic events, including posttraumatic stress disorder, in the homeless veteran population are presented.Findings/Conclusions:Presently, there exists a lack of trauma-informed case management services for homeless veterans. Failing to recognize the association between trauma and homelessness may lead to further victimization, exacerbate mental health symptomology, and hinder a provider's ability to effectively intervene on behalf of homeless veterans.Implications for Case Management:Subgroups of homeless veterans such as those who served in the Vietnam and post-Vietnam era, more recent returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan, women, rural-residing veterans, and those who are justice involved, are discussed for unique trauma histories and service needs. Barriers to receiving trauma-informed care among homeless veterans are reviewed. Information to assist providers in assessing trauma histories and current best practices in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder are noted. Suggestions for how this document can be used in varied organizational settings are made.

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