Trauma has emerged as an important public health concern because it has long-term adverse effects upon physical health and mental health. Trauma contributes to chronic health conditions. People in our communities, especially those with mental illness and substance use disorders, experience trauma in complex ways. Many of us have experienced traumatic events, such as assault, neglect, and other forms of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse in our homes, neighborhoods, schools,and institutions, including jails, prisons, and hospitals, where forced restraints and isolation may have been used.
Health and behavioral healthcare professionals who provide care to the traumatized often have their own trauma histories. They also experience the effects of secondary (or vicarious) trauma through the behaviors, stories, and struggles of people they encounter.
Trauma-informed care is a strengths-based service delivery approach "that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma; that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors; that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment." (Hopper, Bassuk, & Olivet, 2010, p.82).
(Source: Hopper, E. K., Bassuk, E. L., & Olivet, J. (2010). Shelter from the storm: Trauma-informed care in homeless service settings. The Open Health Services and Policy Journal, 3, 80-100).
Trauma-informed organizations work to reduce and eliminate policies and practices that might re-traumatize employees and people seeking services. Organizations achieve this through a careful process that includes input from a range of stakeholders, including people who have survived trauma in their lives. These organizations also become mindful of trauma triggers—events that might activate conscious and unconscious memories of and defenses against the effects of trauma.
ESLP's Center for Evidence-Based Practices utilizes the six core principles of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), as defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to inform its work with health and behavioral healthcare systems and organizations:
Trauma has emerged as an important topic because it has long-term adverse effects upon physical health and mental health. People in our communities experience trauma in complex ways. Professionals who interact with the traumatized often have their own trauma histories. They also experience the effects of secondary trauma through the behaviors, stories, and struggles of others.