…the most common health problems, and the hardest to treat, lie at the blurry line between body and mind, where emotional scars from troubled pasts may surface as physical illness, pain and depression. (Hospital heals scars of war, inside and out)
We cannot see each other’s past experiences, but we are constantly learning more about the ways that past experiences influence our minds and bodies. In working with individuals arriving in London from Syria, psychiatrist Javeed Sukhera has recently had countless conversations with people who have endured refugee camps, witnessed violence and murder, lost their families, experienced torture, or faced sexual assault. He argues that to effectively help one another, we need to be acutely aware of how trauma and violence affects human psychology and physiology.
Javeed joins us to talk about why having a ‘trauma-informed’ perspective is essential not only for professional healthcare and social service workers, but also for the rest of us in society, too.
Javeed Sukhera is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Paediatrics at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University. He is also the Senior Designate Physician Lead for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at London Health Sciences Centre.