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

Skills Built:

  • ability to deal with real-life problems and stressors
  • problem solving
  • relaxation

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:

  1. Students showed reductions in trauma symptoms, with those having a high level of symptoms before taking SSET benefitting the most;
  2. Teachers reported improvements in student behavior;
  3. Both students and parents reported high satisfaction with the program.

Not sure which programs are right for you? Let us save you time and make sure you find the best services to match the needs of your school, workplace, community or organization. Contact Matt Weaver in Lancaster County and Michelle Sweitzer in Lebanon County for assistance.