Crisis and Trauma Care

How Mental Health First Aid can Prevent PTSD

By Martha Henriques

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has resulted in widespread trauma and mental health challenges for both civilians and military personnel. However, a new approach to mental health care is emerging that focuses on providing “mental health first aid” to those impacted by the conflict. This approach involves training individuals to identify and respond to the signs of mental health distress, with the goal of preventing more serious conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article explores the effectiveness of mental health first aid and how it is being implemented in Ukraine, offering insights into how this approach could be used to support mental health in other conflict-affected regions around the world.

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Tetris Used to Prevent PTSD Symptoms

Researchers at the University of Oxford have found a new and surprising way to help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – playing Tetris. The study found that playing the popular video game within hours of experiencing a traumatic event could help reduce the incidence of PTSD symptoms. This is because playing Tetris helps block the brain’s ability to form and store vivid and distressing memories associated with the trauma. The study offers a potential new and accessible tool for individuals at risk of PTSD, such as those in high-risk occupations like emergency responders and military personnel. The article provides insights into the research, including the method and potential implications of this groundbreaking study.

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What is PTSD
By The American Psychiatric Association

“Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event or series of events. An individual may experience this as emotionally or physically harmful or life-threatening, and symptoms may affect mental, physical, social, and/or spiritual well-being.”

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Biological Markers for PTSD

A new study has found biomarkers in the blood that could potentially be used to diagnose PTSD. Researchers identified a set of molecules that were significantly different between individuals with and without PTSD. These identifiers could lead to the development of a blood test for the condition-potentially improving outcomes for those affected.

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Covid-19 and PTSD, the Pandemic's Toll on Mental Health
By Dr. Mathilde Husky

“Illness, grief, job loss, social isolation, uncertainty, and other pandemic-driven stressors have contributed to an increase in psychological distress on an unusually wide scale. As researchers and clinicians continue to grapple with the psychological fallout from COVID-19, a growing body of literature has examined the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general public.”

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PTSD Treatment in Light of DSM-5 and the “Golden Hours” Concept
By Lior Carmi, Leah Fostick, Shimon Burshtein, Shlomit Cwikel-Hamzany, and Joseph Zohar

This CNS Spectrums article discusses how PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be treated in light of the latest diagnostic criteria and the “golden hours” concept. The “golden hours” refer to the critical period right after a traumatic event when early holistic intervention and treatment can greatly improve outcomes. The importance of timely and appropriate treatment for PTSD is highlighted and several evidence-based treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are reviewed. The article concludes with recommendations for future research along with the need for increased awareness and education about PTSD and its treatment.

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