Health care professionals and family perspectives of youth’s trauma: Suggestions for coaching and self-leadership
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Family forms the first and most important social institution in every society. Although traumatised families may be the root of much personal and social turmoil, a healthy community and family is the most vital way to deal with social change and challenges. In the light of increasing violence and trauma in South Africa, youths adverse exposures to violence and trauma have been identified as a distressing health care problem globally and for our communities and families at large. This study sought to explore and describe community and family perspectives of youth’s trauma in order to propose a holistic support approach. A qualitative approach was followed and participants (health care professionals and parents) were purposefully selected. Data were gathered through interviews, a focus group and field notes. Data were analysed thematically. Health care professionals and parents shared similar experiences and concerns relating to their perceptions of youths’ experiences of trauma. Parents however had a more negative regard of the youth and their capabilities to deal with trauma. The trauma experience was seldom contained to the individual but had a traumatising ripple effect on the parents, and community. This often left the entire system feeling helpless and depleted of resources to cope.