Case Study 1

Case Study 1

Teresa is a 32-year-old woman in your practice who frequently misses her appointments, and at other times shows up without an appointment, often in crisis. She currently uses alcohol and tobacco, and has started to use street drugs.

As you have developed a therapeutic relationship with Teresa, you learn that she grew up in a household with a violent father who frequently assaulted her mother, her siblings and herself. Although now estranged from her father, the impact of his violence presents itself on a daily basis as Teresa struggles to cope with the trauma she experienced.

Teresa left school early, has few marketable skills and has never been able to hold a job for more than three months. Teresa receives $606 per month from Ontario Works and has no money left for food or other essentials at the end of the month. She is currently in a relationship with a man whom you suspect may be violent

Student Questions

What are your next steps with Teresa? How do you go about providing trauma-informed care?

  • Is a crisis intervention required?
  • What are some other interventions you could take to improve Teresa’s health in this situation that include addressing health inequities and structural drivers of the conditions of daily life, such as the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources?

Educator elaborations

  • Assess Teresa’s mental status and history of mental health care; explore her substance use and whether it places her at high risk for self medication and suicide; explore issues of violence in her life, income support and her housing situation.

Discussion Topics

  • Cultural competency and mental illness
  • Trauma informed care
  • Crisis intervention
  • Social determinants of health


content.editor Thu, 01/04/2018 - 08:34