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Intergenerational Trauma and Its Relationship to Mental Health Care: A Qualitative Inquiry.

Authors
  • Isobel, Sophie1
  • McCloughen, Andrea2
  • Goodyear, Melinda3, 4
  • Foster, Kim5, 6
  • 1 Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Nursing, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, 2050, Australia. [email protected] , (Australia)
  • 2 Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 Monash University, School of Rural Health, Clayton, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 4 The Parenting Research Centre, East Melbourne, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 6 Melbourne Health, NorthWestern Mental Health, Parkville, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Community mental health journal
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
57
Issue
4
Pages
631–643
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10597-020-00698-1
PMID: 32804293
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Intergenerational trauma is a discrete form of trauma which occurs when traumatic effects are passed across generations without exposure to the original event. This qualitative study aimed to explore how psychiatrists understand intergenerational trauma in respect to their practice, for the purposes of identifying interventions for addressing intergenerational trauma in public mental health services. Findings revealed that psychiatrists observe intergenerational trauma frequently in their roles and try to opportunistically promote awareness of trauma with adults, and refer families to external services for supportive interventions. They feel powerless when faced with directly intervening with intergenerational trauma and required restructuring of their roles to adequately address it in public settings. Findings have implications for training, advocacy and research on the relationship between trauma and mental illness. Alongside this, there is an indicated need for examination of how systems can ensure access to appropriate services once organisations become trauma-informed.

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