After witnessing or experiencing trauma, many children experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as depression, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and poor school performance.
The Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET) program is a series of lessons whose structured approach aims to reduce distress resulting from exposure to trauma. Designed to be implemented by teachers or school counselors, the program includes a wide variety of skill-building techniques geared toward changing unhelpful thoughts and promoting positive behaviors. It is also intended to increase levels of peer and parent support for affected students.
Risk Factors Addressed:
- anxiety or nervousness
- withdrawal or isolation
- depressed mood
- acting out in school
- impulsive or risky behaviors
- ability to deal with real-life problems and stressors
- problem solving
Age: Evaluated for use with students ages 10-14, but will likely work well with students in late elementary through early high school.
Setting: Small group of 8-10 students during school day
Format: 10 lessons
Effectiveness: A 2009 study demonstrated that:
- Students showed reductions in trauma symptoms, with those having a high level of symptoms before taking SSET benefitting the most;
- Teachers reported improvements in student behavior;
- Both students and parents reported high satisfaction with the program.