Throughout December, we continue to celebrate 15 years of The National Child Traumatic Stress Network! The NCTSN works to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. This unique network of frontline providers, family members, researchers, and national partners is committed to changing the course of children’s lives by improving their care and quickly moving scientific gains into practice across the US.

Help us spread the word about the NCTSN by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram!

New EBT Training Guidelines

The NCTSN Training and Implementation Program is pleased to announce our second phase of NCTSN Training Guidelines, which includes the models SMART and Sanctuary. These documents complement the existing EBT Fact Sheets and are available now in PDF form. You will also find the guideline for the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit available on the NCTSN Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma

The Training Guidelines Template helps treatment developers to do the following:

  • Communicate clear and specific information about interventions, which will assist individuals and agencies in making decisions about training needs and the selection and implementation of a treatment or practice

  • Have the accurate information needed to respond to inquiries about providing, supervising, or training others in various models

  • Disseminate consistent information on requirements for pre-work, face-to-face training, consultation, case completion, maintenance, supervision, and certification or fostering across models

For SMART Training Guidelines

For Sanctuary Guidelines

For the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit Guidelines

Public Awareness

Holiday Stress

As the holiday season approaches, many of us begin to look forward to spending time with family and friends and to sharing in the joys of the season. However, for people who have been exposed to a traumatic event, the holiday season may bring up negative feelings. Especially at this time of year, thinking about loved ones who have died can be painful—particularly for those who have recently lost someone. Even for people who have not been exposed to trauma or loss, the holidays can be a stressful time. Besides buying gifts, travel expenses and hassles, and family interactions, the short days and lack of sunlight in winter can trigger bouts of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A 2008 poll on holiday stress, conducted by the American Psychological Association, revealed that eight out of ten Americans anticipated stress during the holiday season. APA's 2012 Stress in America survey reported that 69 percent of Americans attribute their stress to money-related concerns and that 61 percent attributed stress to the economy. To help people cope with grief, stress, and depression during the holiday season, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers resources for educators, families, and mental health professionals.


Introduction to the NCTSN

Since 2001, the NCTSN has grown from 17 to 82 funded centers—with over 130 affiliate (formerly funded) centers—and individuals, working in hospitals, universities, and community based programs in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

Created by Congress in 2000 as part of the Children’s Health Act, the NCTSN is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is coordinated by the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS), which guides NCTSN collaborative efforts.

This new course will introduce the different aspects of the NCTSN, how the Network functions, and the how to access technical assistance, resources, and information.

NEW RPC Online Lesson
The Invisible Suitcase: Part Two

If you’ve completed Part I of the interactive learning module, “The Invisible Suitcase,” you’re probably ready for more. In Part II, our narrator Henry takes us on a journey to explore what we caregivers might have in our own invisible suitcases, and how our beliefs may affect the way we react to the children in our care. He then provides helpful, concrete suggestions about how to explore your child’s beliefs and respond to them differently. By doing this, we learn to repack the child’s suitcase with new, healthier experiences and beliefs, which can result in new, healthier behavior!     

A new video game helps therapists treat traumatized children 8 to 12 years old. TF-CBT Triangle of Life helps children learn how to adapt their thinking during upsetting circumstances by following examples of the characters featured in the game. The goal is to help children better understand and cope with their daily experiences so they can develop more positive feelings and adaptive behaviors. TF-CBT Triangle of Life may be played on a smart phone or tablet and is freely available from Google Play or the Apple Store. The game does not include specific reference to trauma experiences, so you may use it to build resiliency in non-trauma populations. Since its release, the game has been downloaded more than 14,000 times.

Resiliency in Disaster Behavioral Health Podcast Series

Audio podcasts from the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) highlight ways for local behavioral health agencies and individuals to build and enhance resilience. Episodes of 11 to 20 minutes cover community resilience, coping with disaster stress, organizational resilience, resilience for first responders, planning to support resilience in people with substance use disorders, and resilience as part of long-term disaster recovery.

K. Ruggiero, M. Price, Z. Adams, K. Stauffacher, J. McCauley, C. Danielson, B. Saunders, and H. Resnick are among the co-authors of Web Intervention for Adolescents Affected by Disaster: Population-Based Randomized Controlled Trial in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Volume 54, Issue 9). The results supported the feasibility and initial efficacy of Bounce Back Now (BBN), a modular, Web-based intervention for disaster-affected adolescents and their parents, as a scalable disaster mental health intervention for adolescents. Technology-based solutions have tremendous potential value if found to reduce the mental health burden of disasters. [doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2015.07.001]



J. Vasterling, C. Taft, S. Proctor, H. Macdonald, A. Lawrence, K. Kalill, J. Fairbank, and others have authored Establishing a Methodology to Examine the Effects of War-Zone PTSD on the Family: The Family Foundations Study, published in International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research (Volume 24, Issue 2). The study, focused on the relationship of veteran PTSD to barriers in successful family adaptation to military deployment, builds on an established longitudinal cohort study of US Army personnel to understand how veteran PTSD trajectories and veteran and family-level risk and protective factors influence family cohesion, partner aggression, family and relationship problems, child maltreatment, and intimate partner and child mental health concerns. This report describes the conceptual framework and key gaps in knowledge that guided the study design, methodological challenges, and special considerations in conducting military family research, and how these gaps, challenges, and special considerations are addressed by the study.
[doi: 10.1002/mpr.1464]






This project was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.