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Terrorism and Bioterrorism Related Trauma SIG


Events of terrorism have occurred outside the realm of acknowledged war, on a grander scale and by increasingly destructive means, including acts of bioterrorism. The enormity of the impact of September 11, 2001 and subsequent events in the United States and elsewhere have expanded the scope of terrorism and continued to call into question our assumptions of safety and security. The media and the manner in which information is shared around the world have also served to increase the range of impact of these events. Though there exists a growing database of information regarding the psychological consequences of terrorism, many challenges and unanswered questions remain regarding the event-specific impact of terrorist and bioterrorist events on individuals, families, and communities. Adequate intervention planning requires an understanding of the temporal sequencing and co-morbidity patterns of distress associated with this type of exposure and the systemic impact of ongoing fear on the social fabric of communities and nations. Thus, advances in the research and treatment of terrorism-related trauma are interdependent.

The challenges posed by terrorism are immediate and ongoing, given its evolving nature and the need for increased coordination among individuals, community-based, national and international groups in the field. This Special Interest Group serves to assist the trauma community with sharing resources, collaborating and developing response strategies that would ultimately benefit affected populations. Annual meetings of and presentations by the SIG on Terrorism- and Bioterrorism-Related Trauma provide a venue for the exchange of ideas, disseminating data, and sharing clinical innovations regarding terrorism-related issues. They also lead to clarifying further the role of the mental health community in responding to the needs of those impacted. The SIGs website and ongoing e-mail communications will enable continuing dialogue and activities between the meetings.


Melissa Brymer, PhD, PsyD
National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Terrorism and Bioterrorism Related Trauma SIG Listserv Address

Members of the Terrorism and Bioterrorism Related Trauma SIG can use the SIG listserv to share information with the full SIG. 


Additional Links

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  Practice parameters for the Treatment of PTSD in Children and Adolescents

VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines regarding the Management of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder

“Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families” details the key messages and themes of the workshop that was hosted by the Medical and Public Health Preparedness Forum at the IOM. The report can be viewed and downloaded free of charge.