What is “trauma-informed”?
From the Mental Health Coordinating Council’s TAFESA Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work:
“Trauma can refer to an event on its own (e.g. a violent sexual assault), or to the impact on a person.”
Many people who have accessed or are receiving support for their mental health have experienced trauma in their childhood, in their family, in their community, at schools or within other institutions including mental health services. The experience of mental distress itself can also be traumatic, and lead to traumatic losses and other experiences such as homelessness.
Trauma affects the way people relate to others and the way they access a whole range of services. Unless services understand and respond effectively to the impacts of trauma, we risk adding to the effects of trauma and creating further harm.
The objective of trauma-informed care is that service delivery is informed by an understanding of the impact of trauma. Trauma-informed care has been defined in the following way:
“Trauma-informed care is a strengths-based framework that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma, that emphasises physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment. (Hopper, Bassuk & Olivet 2010).”