Building Strong and Resilient Communities through Trauma-Informed Care

Mar 09, 2017 | Alyson Jordan

According to recent data, up to 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. Additional information from the Adverse Childhood Experiences study shows the long-term health effects that childhood trauma can have. In North Carolina, the State Center for Health Statistics reports that more than half (57.6%) of North Carolina residents have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or another traumatic event, before age 18. Trauma, especially when it is recurring, worsens physical and mental health outcomes, and places a higher burden of social and healthcare costs on communities. In response to local and national data indicating that trauma affects the majority of people at some time during their lives, it was imperative for our agency to recognize these events and their implications for both our clients and the staff who serve them. Our agency needed to build both awareness of trauma and an environment that promotes social well-being, comfort and safety. Trauma-informed care ensures safety, trustworthiness, and empowerment in services for clients and staff. It changes the question of, “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” and promotes ideal environments for well-being. Trauma-informed care builds networks for collective action in emergency response and connects residents to a community in order to overcome challenges together.

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