Younger generations are growing up with unprecedented access to news, images, and information often portraying traumatic experiences and situations. In addition, they are connected 24/7 to friends and family members who may be struggling with trauma, mental health issues, or other concerns. The result is that many Gen Zers, in addition to experiencing trauma in their own lives, are coping with vicarious trauma.
Vicarious or secondary trauma occurs when exposed to someone else's trauma--trauma you have not experienced yourself, but learned about from other people or sources. In the past, vicarious trauma was especially notable in professionals working in the medical field, counseling, social work, emergency services and similar fields. Today, however, the constant exposure to information can result in an increased risk of vicarious trauma for anyone, especially for young people who are still developing their understanding of the world, self awareness, and self management skills.
On this month's episode of The Leading Tomorrow podcast, I am joined by James LaLonde to discuss how we can help protect young people, and support them when they are experiencing the effects of vicarious trauma. Some of the strategies discussed include:
Dr. Jolene Erlacher is a wife, mommy, author, speaker, college instructor and coffee drinker who is passionate about empowering the next generation of leaders for effective service!