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Abstract

Exposure to community and interpersonal violence is a public health crisis that adversely affects many children in American communities. After witnessing or experiencing trauma, many children experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and poor school performance. The Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET) program is a series of ten lessons whose structured approach aims to reduce distress resulting from exposure to trauma. Designed to be implemented by teachers or school counselors in groups of 8–10 middle school students, the program includes a wide variety of skill-building techniques geared toward changing maladaptive thoughts and promoting positive behaviors. It is also intended to increase levels of peer and parent support for affected students.

Designed for SSET group leaders, the Group Leader Training Manual introduces the SSET concept and provides detailed information on selecting student participants, scheduling lessons, assuring confidentiality, coordinating with clinical backup, managing difficult situations and issues, and conducting group meetings. The Lesson Plans section supplies group leader preparation information and in-depth plans for each lesson, including agendas, example scenarios, suggestions for troubleshooting specific problems, homework assignment instructions, and cross-references to other program documentation. Take-home worksheets, letters to parents, forms, and other program materials are supplied in the section entitled Lesson Worksheets and Materials.

Research conducted by

This work was sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. The research was conducted in RAND Health.

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