Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Signs & Symptoms

Not everyone experiences PTSD the same way. Understanding the signs, symptoms and effects of PTSD is an important step toward recovery for your child.

Understanding PTSD

Learn about PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that is triggered when an individual witnesses or experiences an extremely terrifying event. This serious condition is a lasting result of traumatic events that cause an individual to develop feelings of intense fear, helplessness, and/or extreme anxiety. Such events that can elicit the onset of PTSD include natural disasters, car accidents, being the victim of abuse or neglect, and witnessing a crime. However, any event that produces extreme distress and feelings of helplessness can potentially result in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder. While the effects of PTSD can negatively impact a child or adolescent’s life, treatment can help them regain a sense of control over his or her life and overcome this distressing disorder.


PTSD statistics

PTSD affects many children and adolescents, with research estimating that 3%-15% of female youth and 1%-6% of male youth experience the onset of PTSD symptoms following exposure to trauma. However, there continues to be debate on the accuracy of these percentages due to the fact that many young people do not receive appropriate treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for PTSD

The onset of posttraumatic stress disorder occurs when an individual experiences a traumatic event that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. However, experts still are not sure why some individuals go on to develop this disorder while others who experience a similar traumatic event do not. Yet, research has been able to identify a number of causes and risk factors that will make an individual more susceptible to developing this illness. These include:

Genetic: Many researchers have determined that the development of PTSD has a strong genetic component and that those with first degree relatives who have suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder or other anxiety disorders are at an increased risk for developing this condition following a traumatic event. Recently, focus has been placed on studying genes that play a role in creating fear memories.

Environmental: The environment that a child or adolescent is immersed in can greatly impact his or her chances for developing PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event. For example, not having a proper support system available to them or having the lack of appropriate coping skills could make young people more susceptible to the development of PTSD.

Risk Factors:

  • Experiencing intense, long-lasting trauma
  • Experiencing trauma early in life
  • Inherited aspects of a individual’s personality
  • Lacking healthy coping skills
  • Lacking a strong support network
  • Being female
  • Having a family history of mental health conditions, especially anxiety disorders
  • Suffering from a preexisting mental illness
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder tend to develop within three months of experiencing a traumatic event but, in some cases, they may not appear until years later. Additionally, symptoms will vary depending on the length of the trauma experienced, the support system available to the individual, and the coping skills the individual possesses. Furthermore, PTSD symptoms are usually grouped into three different categories, including re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyperarousal symptoms. The symptoms included in each category are laid out in more detail below:

Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Recurrent, disturbing nightmares
  • Experiencing physical symptoms, such as labored breathing, excessive sweating, or an increase in heart rate
  • Flashbacks that make the person feel as though the trauma is happening again
  • Intrusive memories about the trauma

Avoidance symptoms:

  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Loss of interest in things that one used to enjoy
  • Avoiding people, places, and/or situations that remind the person of the trauma
  • Unable to remember certain details about the trauma
  • Feelings of detachment and isolation from family or friends

Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Trouble falling and/or staying asleep
  • Problems relating to others
  • Irritability
  • Constantly feeling on edge or concerned that something bad is going to happen
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Excessive irritability

It is also not uncommon for children with PTSD to experience delayed development in certain areas, such as potty training, motor skills, and language development.


Effects of PTSD

Having PTSD can disrupt a child and adolescent’s whole life, creating problems at school and within relationships among peers, and potentially even leading to the development of various health complications. If left untreated, these effects can get worse and prevent a child or adolescent from enjoying everyday life. Some of these negative complications include:

  • Development of depression and anxiety
  • Problems with drugs and/or alcohol
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Academic failure
  • Dwindling of interpersonal relationships
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Onset of self-harming behaviors
  • Suicidal ideation and behaviors
  • Chronic pain
Co-Occurring Disorders

PTSD and co-occurring disorders

Approximately 80% of individuals who are suffering from PTSD also meet clinical diagnostic criteria for another mental health condition. The following are examples of some of the most commonly cited disorders and conditions known to co-occur alongside posttraumatic stress disorder:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder

I learned a lot during my stay here which helped me in my longer journey.

– Former client