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Philadelphia hospital program adds psychologists to bridge mental health services for trauma survivors

Read full article at WHYY.org

The new psychology team at the Penn Trauma Violence Recovery Program has already provided about 46 survivors with short- and long-term therapy.

Trauma surgeon Elinore Kaufman says it’s always a good day when her patients make it out of the hospital alive.

“The thing that makes us the happiest is when we get someone back home,” Kaufman said.

But often, she worries about these patients, the lucky ones, who survive serious and violent injuries only to face the psychological aftermath of their trauma once they return home.

“The effects are more than physical,” Kaufman said. “There are absolutely emotional, psychological, social, economic effects for the individual and all of those same effects that kind of spread across the family and the community.”

But Kaufman knows that when people look for help in dealing with these symptoms once they leave the hospital, they face a number of barriers: a shortage of mental health care providers, long waiting lists for appointments and the high cost of therapy and medications.

To better meet the mental health needs of trauma survivors, the Penn Trauma Violence Recovery Program at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia has added a new team of four psychologists to ensure that patients are connected to care options before they leave the hospital.

Read full article at WHYY.org

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