World Trauma Day 2023: History, mission, objective and theme

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By ETV Bharat English Desk

Published : Oct 16, 2023, 11:52 PM IST

World Trauma Day aims to curb the escalating rates of accidents and injuries that lead to fatalities and disabilities on a global scale.

World Trauma Day aims to curb the escalating rates of accidents and injuries that lead to fatalities and disabilities on a global scale.

Hyderabad: World Trauma Day, observed on October 17, is an essential health awareness occasion, which urges the public to focus on the importance of saving and protecting lives during emergencies.

The day also serves as an occasion to provide education on how to avoid traumatic injuries and deaths. It highlights the significance of acknowledging and addressing trauma's effects, fostering healing and resilience globally.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is the lasting emotional response often resulting from a distressing event. Trauma results from exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being. Experiencing a traumatic event can harm a person's sense of safety, self, and ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships.

Experiences that may be traumatic include-

  • Domestic and child abuse
  • Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
  • Sudden, unexplained separation from a loved one
  • Torture in the physical and mental ways
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Racism, discrimination, and oppression
  • Violence in the community, war, or terrorism

Theme- Every year World Trauma Day is observed under a theme. The theme for the year 2023 has been kept as "Embracing, Resilience, Overcoming Trauma's Impact".

History- The history of World Trauma Day can be traced back to 2011, when the day was officially announced in New Delhi, India, after the rising concern about the high number of deaths caused by road accidents in the country — an estimate of over 400 people lost their lives each day to it. The day was observed to reduce injuries and deaths, as well as the after-effects of trauma incidents in the country and the world at large.

Mission- Originating in New Delhi in 2011, World Trauma Day was a direct response to the alarming number of daily deaths—exceeding 400—due to traffic accidents in Korea. The mission behind the observance was to curtail injuries, fatalities, and the far-reaching consequences of such incidents, both within the nation and worldwide.

Road accidents are considered to be one of the most common causes of traumatic experiences around the world. Traumatic experiences from military operations, domestic abuse, and sexual assaults follow shortly behind. These experiences, if not handled properly, can result in victims suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

According to accounts dating back to the 5th century, B.C. trauma was visible in Ancient Greece and was also reported among soldiers during the American Civil War in the 1860s. World War II triggered a shift in comprehending trauma, prompting breaks for soldiers to decompress and return to the battlefield with clearer minds. Notably, the evolution of trauma-related cognitive therapy gained momentum during the Vietnam War and Korean War.

Objective- The prime objective behind observing World Trauma Day is to Raise awareness regarding the impact of trauma on mental and physical well-being. The other key objectives are-

  • Promote understanding, resilience, and support for trauma survivors and affected communities.
  • Workshops, discussions, and campaigns emphasizing healing strategies and coping mechanisms.
  • Involvement of medical professionals, NGOs, and individuals to address trauma's widespread effects.
  • Encourage societal change and resource allocation towards trauma-informed approaches for better overall mental health.

Also read- Childhood trauma may increase subsequent risk of pregnancy complications: Study

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