Abstract

People who experience the toxic stress of recurrent traumatic events in childhood have a higher risk for mental and physical health problems throughout life. Occupational therapy practitioners have a remarkable opportunity to be involved in addressing this significant public health problem. As health care practitioners already situated in the community, we have a responsibility to lead and assist in establishing and implementing occupation-based programs and to nurture the links between the child welfare system and existing intervention systems. In this article, we review the current research on toxic stress and recommendations made by other health care disciplines and offer strategies for occupational therapy practitioners to begin a dialogue on this critical, emerging issue.

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