Suffering a Common Fate

Memorial Day is a time to remember not only those who have lost their lives, but also those whose psychic wounds have not yet healed.

Traumatic experiences can be as unique as the individuals who have them. But it is also possible for large groups to undergo collective traumas, whether these are caused by viral pandemics or military service in a warzone.

In this Mental Health Minute, Charles F. Figley, PhD, shares his expertise on collective traumas. He discusses his latest research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and his forthcoming book, co-authored with Mark C. Russell, PsyD, Psychiatric Casualties: How and Why the Military Ignores the Full Cost of War.

Figley has also been a guest on the Psychiatric TimesTM podcast, PsychPearls.

Dr Figley is the Paul Henry Kurzweg, MD Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University and founder and director of the Tulane Traumatology Institute.

How should psychiatrists address collective traumas? Share comments with your colleagues by emailing PTEditor@mmhgroup.com. Comments may be shared online pending review and editing for style.