Medical professional talking to people

What we're working on

Imagine a world where we interact with every life we meet as if we knew their story of hardship and trial… and engaged with them from that knowledge…  Welcome to trauma informed approach. 

How is trauma defined?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines trauma this way:

“Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”

Trauma can be a barrier to health care. People who have experienced trauma may avoid important procedures—or avoid seeking health care altogether—for fear of being reminded of past events.

Trauma-informed principles

The following are the guiding principles of trauma-informed care from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leading the efforts to advance behavioral health in the U.S.

  • Safety
  • Trustworthiness and transparency
  • Peer support
  • Collaboration and mutuality
  • Empowerment of the individual’s voice and choice in care
  • Cultural, historical, and gender supports

How does TIA benefit the people we serve?

  • Reduces barriers to treatment, and provides service to vulnerable populations.

  • Promotes screening for trauma and offers interventions to people who may feel embarrassed to seek help.
  • Starts the conversation that can lead to treatment.
  • Effective treatment of trauma and the challenges that come with it can lead to better health outcomes in life.
  •  Addresses barriers to care which have prevented them from receiving quality care.
  • Helps to build individuals’ trust in the health care system by recognizing one important principle: “It’s not what is wrong with you, but what has happened to you.”

What are our next steps?

  • Exemplify a culture that promotes healthy individuals.
  • Create and support a culture that develops an effective, resilient, and empathetic work force.
  • Design training, coaching, and technical assistance in partnership with communities, individuals with lived experience, and other state agencies.
  • Provide trainings around the state with community partners and champions to continue to grow the change.

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