National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Online Press Kit

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The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS) coordinates the National Child Traumatic Stress Network - a nationwide network of centers dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, provision, and availability of therapeutic services for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events.

The NCCTS is a joint program of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Duke University Medical Center.


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Media Contacts

Please direct all media inquires to

The NCCTS media contact at UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations is Mark Wheeler,, 310-794-2265

The NCCTS media contact at the Duke University Medical Center News Office is Rachel Harrison,, 919-419-5069


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Key NCCTS Contacts

  • Robert Pynoos, MD, NCCTS co-director at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute
    (310) 235-2633 x225
  • John Fairbank, PhD, NCCTS co-director at Duke University
    (919) 613-9860, mobile (919) 812-2131
  • Lisa Amaya-Jackson, MD, NCCTS associate director at Duke University
    (919) 613-9851, page (919) 970-6132
  • Alan Steinberg,PhD, NCCTS associate director at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute
    (310) 235-2633 x224
  • Jenifer Maze,PhD, NCCTS managing director
    (310) 929-5899
  • Ellen Gerrity, PhD, NCCTS senior policy advisor
    (301) 530-0105, mobile (301) 379-2145
  • Mary Mount, co-managing director at Duke University
    (919) 613-9868


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Our National Network

Over the past 20 years significant advances have been made in the field of child traumatic stress. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is a groundbreaking effort that blends the best practices of the academic clinical research community with the wisdom of front-line community service providers. The work of NCTSN members ranges across settings, disciplines, age groups, and trauma types, developing and delivering high-quality services to large numbers of children and their families.

The NCTSN is funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services through the Donald J. Cohen National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. This congressional initiative recognizes the profound, destructive, and widespread impact of trauma on American children's lives.

The mission of the NCTSN is to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families, and communities throughout the United States.

Together, the NCCTS and NCTSN:

  • Develop and disseminate effective, evidence-based treatments; collect data for systematic study; and help to educate professionals and the public about the effects of trauma on children.
  • Address the full spectrum of child trauma from a developmental and family-centered perspective to help children from every ethnic, sociocultural, and economic background.
  • Raise public awareness of the scope and serious impact of child traumatic stress on the safety and healthy development of our nation's children and families.
  • Collaborate with established systems of care, including the health, mental health, education, law enforcement, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems to ensure that there is a comprehensive continuum of care available and accessible to all traumatized children and their families.

Click here for a complete list and description of NCTSN sites and contacts.


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Child Trauma Facts

Child Trauma is common
  • More than 25 percent of American youth experience a serious traumatic event by the age of 16, and many children suffer multiple and repeated traumas.
  • Common sources of trauma include abuse and neglect; serious accidental injury; disasters and terrorism; experiencing or witnessing violence in neighborhoods, schools, and homes; and treatment for life-threatening illness.
  • A child exposed to a traumatic event is at risk of developing traumatic stress.
  • Children are more vulnerable to trauma because of their size, age, and dependence.
  • Prior trauma, past mental health problems, or a familial history of such problems may increase a child's risk.
Child Traumatic Stress can be identified
  • Children can be screened for exposure to trauma in a variety of settings, including schools, primary care, and child welfare settings.
  • Assessment tools can help clinicians identify children and families needing treatment.
Child Traumatic Stress is serious
  • Traumatic stress can interfere with children's ability to concentrate and learn and seriously delay development of their brains and bodies. It can lead to depression, substance abuse, other mental health problems, educational impairment, acting out, and future employment problems. It can change how children view the world and their own futures, and it can change their behavior, interests, and relationships with family and friends. It can take a toll on a family.  
Caring adults can help
  • Not all children exposed to traumatic events develop a traumatic stress reaction. Many children, especially those supported by caring adults, can be very resilient.
  • Parents who take care of themselves are able to take better care of their children.
  • If you think you or your child may have symptoms of a traumatic stress reaction, seek help from a qualified mental health professional.
Treatments Work
  • Treatment from a mental health professional who has training and experience working with traumatized children can reduce child traumatic stress and minimize physical, emotional, and social problems.
  • Trauma treatments for children may include psychotherapy and medications, and may involve families and schools.

Read Effective Treatments for Youth Trauma


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Find Network-produced resources here


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