Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Miscellaneous, People & Places, Social Issues » Responding to Child Traumatic Stress
Jul 28, 2021

Responding to Child Traumatic Stress

Have you ever wondered about the effects that traumatic stresses have on children? Professionals who engage with Belize’s youth found out today how to identify when a child is acting out due to a traumatic event they may have experienced at home or are going through within the community that they live. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Azalia Larrieu, Facilitator, Responding to Child Traumatic Stress

“It is a public health issue. A lot of us like to think that it is just in our homes. But trauma is all around us and each and every one of us will react differently to these things.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

Trauma is defined as an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, sexual assault, gun violence, losing a loved one to sickness or natural disaster. And while, for the most part, as adults we learn coping mechanisms, it can have a spiralling effect on minors, triggering behavioural issues. In Belize, children, just by way of where they live, are often times exposed to traumatic experiences and it takes an individual and even a village to address it. Today, professionals from different walks of life learned about practical techniques, building positive relationships and reducing stress and anxiety level.


Kendra Carter Flores

Dr. Kendra Carter Flores, Clinical Social Worker

“A lot of kids experience a lot of trauma because of gang violence, intimate or gender-based violence in the home, parental incarcerations and things like that that can disrupt their development.”


The workshop was organized by META Belize. It is a private practice dedicated to ensuring professional development and offers a safe space for people who need help in psychotherapy and counselling. As a licensed clinical social worker and educator, Azalia Larrieu feels that child traumatic stress has a lot to do with the community.


Azalia Larrieu

Azalia Larrieu

“It is anything that overwhelms your capacity to cope. So if you can’t wake up in the morning and feel like to brush your teeth, get up and put your makeup on and go to work, you probably were affected somehow by something that’s happening to you. And that could be, as you’ve said, very different for everyone. So it could be just that loud noise; that shouting that’s happening. We see it a lot in children. So we see aggressive behaviour in children. We see things like they don’t want to listen. But it may be that it’s not that they don’t want to listen, but it is that they cannot concentrate because of all the things that’s happening.”


Addressing the issue is about understanding that a behavioural issue may very well be a defence mechanism developed by a child, and there is need to regulate that child’s emotions.


Dr. Kendra Carter Flores

“It disrupts our emotional regulation system and so you’ll probably get someone who is unable to control their behaviours and they act our violently or aggressively simply because they are constantly thinking they are in a state of fear. And so trauma creates this feeling that you’re always needing to protect yourself, protect your environment and so, you are fearful to trust people and so you are always in this defence mechanism.”


Azalia Larrieu

“We are looking at mental wellness as well. Clinic social workers look at a bio-psychosocial aspect. So it is not that I am going to diagnose you and okay, you have ADHD. It’s nothing wrong with you; something happened and we are going to work it out – we can work it out.”


Dr. Kendra Carter Flores

“The significance of trauma experiences and how early childhood development really shapes our life outcomes. It is important to understand how we need to nurture children growing up because the trauma that they experience in childhood really determines whether or not they are able to function and cope with everyday life stressers.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed