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CMDA Today | Common Psychiatric Consequences of Human Trafficking on Children and Adolescents and Their Medical Management

[1 hour]
This course is available for physician, dentist, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner continuing education. A general attendance certificate is also available.

This article is featured in the Spring 2021 publication of CMDA Today.

Review Date: December 23, 2020
Original Release Date: March 1, 2021
Termination Date: February 29, 2024

Human Trafficking affects numerous children and teens throughout the world. One of the significant health consequences of this are mental health problems. Of note are high rates of anxiety, depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) identified in multiple studies of trafficked children. Full medical care of these individuals therefore will entail screening for the symptoms of mental health disorders. Treatment should involve therapy as much is available in the areas where they are recovering and learning to return to normal life. Medications can be considered for these mental health diagnoses as well with care taken in prescribing for children and teenagers. This article gives a framework for primary care professionals to establish mental healthcare as part of their management of children and adolescents who have been through human trafficking.

Objectives:

  • Describe the scope of human trafficking in children and adolescents.
  • Discuss the range of mental health disorders that are commonly found in trafficked people that present in medical settings.
  • Strategize how to treat trafficked people that is relevant to their clinical setting.