DR. ROBYN L. GOBIN
TRAUMA & PTSD IN
ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED POPULATIONS
Robyn Gobin - Trauma & PTSD in Economically Disadvantaged Populations
The number one thing for trying to engage economically disadvantaged folks in therapy is making sure that you make room for that and the therapeutic work. So talking about what impact the economic disadvantage has on their mental health, has on their ability to come to therapy, not kind of taking that off the table but actually addressing that, and then also providing those resources that will make it easier for them to get to therapy. So is there a way that we can provide child care or are there travel vouchers that we can provide or can we reimburse for taxis if that’s what they have to take to get to therapy? So speaking to some of those basic needs, because we can’t really focus on our psychological health if some of our just most basic needs are not being met.
I think trauma impacts individuals but then it also impacts away the individuals interact in their social networks and their social systems and so it’s really important for us to educate communities about trauma and the impact of trauma on folk’s lives and how to support people. Disclosure, we have tons of research showing that the response that you get when you disclose your traumatic experience has tons of impacts on your later mental health.
We’re talking about people who are economically disadvantaged so you think about folks who may not have a lot of work flexibility and you think about when we tend to offer mental health services, it’s during the work hours and so that’s a challenge. There’s also transportation issues, sometimes our places where we offer psychological services are not accessible by public transportation or you may find that someone, a whole household of five, is sharing one car and they have competing demands on when they need to use the car. So those logistical barriers in addition to child care. Oftentimes we don’t provide child care at the home psychological service centers so that is a challenge for folks to be able to get there. And also, I think the lack of knowledge about the benefits or potential benefits around psychological services. And then again going back to another logistical is finances, sometimes they don’t have a lot of resources financially to pay for a course of treatment that’s really going to get them to a level where they want to be with their trauma recovery.