Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can affect children and young people who have experienced a traumatic event. PTSD can cause intense feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety and can last for a long time after the traumatic event has passed.

Traumatic events that can cause PTSD in children and young people include things like:

  • Natural disasters
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Witnessing or experiencing violence
  • Car accidents
  • Serious accidents or injuries

Symptoms of PTSD in children and young people can include:

  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Avoiding things that remind them of the traumatic event
  • Being easily frightened or upset
  • Feelings of anger and irritability
  • Problems sleeping or concentrating

If you think that a child or young person you know may be experiencing PTSD, it is important to seek professional help. This can include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

There are also things that you can do to help a child or young person cope with PTSD. Some helpful tips include:

  • Encouraging them to talk about their feelings and experiences
  • Helping them to understand that their feelings are normal and that they are not alone
  • Creating a safe and supportive environment for them to talk about their feelings
  • Encouraging them to participate in activities that they enjoy
  • Helping them to develop healthy coping strategies, such as exercise and mindfulness

It is important to remember that everyone is different and may cope with PTSD in their own way. It is important to be supportive and understanding and to work with a mental health professional to develop a treatment plan that is right for the individual.


  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub.
  • National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. (2021). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).