Blue Knot Foundation calls for complex trauma strategy

Blue Knot Foundation calls for complex trauma strategy

The Blue Knot Foundation has called for the federal government to prioritise a complex trauma strategy as a pillar of mental health policy.

The call comes ahead of the tenth anniversary of Blue Knot Day, Monday 28 October.

Dr Cathy Kezelman is the Blue Knot Foundation’s President. Dr Kezelman said Australia must respond to the public health crisis of complex trauma with more than one in four adult Australians experiencing the cumulative impacts of complex trauma.

“Over five million adults in this country have experiences of complex trauma, which is repeated ongoing interpersonal trauma and abuse, often from childhood, as an adult, or both,” Dr Kezelman said.

“With two thirds of people presenting to public and private mental health services having experienced sexual and physical abuse, complex trauma must be identified, acknowledged and appropriately addressed.

“Research establishes that it can significantly affect a person’s mental health and well-being, with survivors experiencing high rates of anxiety and depression and other mental health issues.

“Unless we properly address complex trauma now, we will be having this same conversation in ten years’ time and then again in another ten years.

“We need to respond to this growing devastating public mental health issue and its human cost on individuals, families, communities, and across generations.”

Complex trauma includes child sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, growing up with domestic violence and growing up with a parent or carer who has their own unresolved trauma such as with a mental illness or an addiction. In adulthood it can occur as a result of domestic and family violence and refugee and war trauma.

To support a trauma-informed response to the growing crisis, the organisation will launch its Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma in October.

“Research shows that it is possible to heal from even severe early trauma and that when parents have worked through their trauma their children do better. However, to find a path to recovery people need the right support and to embrace a sense of hope and optimism on their journey to recovery and building resilience,” Dr Kezelman said.

The Blue Knot Foundation is a not for profit organisation that provides support for adults traumatised as children. The Foundation provides specialist phone counselling, support, education, and training.

Blue Knot Day 2019 takes place on Monday, 28 October.

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor

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