Trauma and Youth

Helpful Information for Parents and Students following a Traumatic Event

Traumatic events are situations that may be sudden or unexpected, involve a shocking nature of events, and produce feelings of horror, terror, or helplessness.[1] Some examples of traumatic events may include:

  • Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Witnessing or being the direct victim of interpersonal violence (domestic, dating violence)
  • Witnessing or being the direct victim of community violence (gang violence, riots, school shootings)
  • Severe motor vehicle and other accidents
  • Medical trauma including sever injury or life threatening illness
  • Natural and human-made disasters
  • Sudden death of a loved one or peer
  • Exposure to war terrorism or refuges conditions. [2]

Research has shown that adolescents who encounter a traumatic event may experience social, emotional and even academic consequences as a result of the traumatic event. Adolescents experiencing a traumatic may be more prone to engage in risky behaviors, less likely to make realistic evaluations of danger and safety, and may experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). [3] Children and youth may demonstrate one or many of the following post traumatic responses:

  • Anxiety and/or Anger
  • Suicidal Thoughts or Feelings
  • Depression
  • Substance Abuse
  • Fear
  • Frequent mood changes
  • Truancy
  • Fighting
  • Impaired concentration and problem solving abilities
  • Withdrawal from relationships
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Poor school performance

Safe2Tell Wyoming Can Help

The goal of Safe2Tell Wyoming is to intervene at the earliest possible point in the life a young person who is struggling, helping them when they need it before the situation turns into a tragedy. Safe2Tell serves as the statewide bystander reporting tool for concerns in Wyoming. The Safe2Tell solution was developed specifically to encourage those with information about a possible event or dangerous situation to report it in a way that keeps the reporter safe from retaliation or fear.

If you witness a child or youth who has experienced a traumatic event and is engaging in risky or harmful behavior, you can make an confidential Safe2Tell Wyoming report alerting a team of caring committed adults of the situation. Safe2Tell reports create interventions for youth and children who are struggling and provides the accountability and follow-up required to ensure action is taken on every concerned received.

To make a safe, confidential report to Safe2Tell Wyoming:

Call 1-844-996-7233

Download the Safe2TellWY mobile app and make a report from your smartphone

Submit a report online

Additional Resources:

Additional information on how to assist youth struggling after a traumatic event, action plans and area specific resources and information:


1 Cohen, Mannarino, and Deblinger, Treating Trauma and Traumatic Grief in Children and Adolescents, The Guilford Press, 2006, p.3,

2 National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Understanding Traumatic Street in Adolescents: A Primer for Substance Abuse Professionals, June 2008, p. 1

3 National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Understanding Traumatic Street in Adolescents: A Primer for Substance Abuse Professionals, June 2008, p. 4