The Importance of Trauma-Informed Care
Trauma comes in many forms. Most people experience at least one traumatic event within their lifetime, whether it’s a close relative or friend dying, abuse, or even a natural disaster. We all deserve trauma-informed care, even if we have not experienced anything specifically traumatic in our lives.
According to the University of Buffalo’s Center for Social Research, “Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) is an approach in the human service field that assumes that an individual is more likely than not to have a history of trauma. Trauma-Informed Care recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role trauma may play in an individual’s life- including service staff.” In recognizing the presence of trauma symptoms, we can reduce the amount of re-traumatization that could potentially occur while also creating a consent-based space.
Viewing each person through a non-trauma-informed lens can be harmful. We think we need to see trauma or harm caused to a person for it to be true instead of just simply believing them. Having a trauma-informed lens allows for more trust in relationships and offers a non-judgmental view of what someone might be going through. It is especially important within the healthcare field, which found that trauma-informed care improves long-term health conditions.
We can all do better. In society, we can inform ourselves and others about consent. For example, if we want to sit near someone on public transit, we can ask them first. Teaching consent is especially important for children. So, before forcing a child into a hug, ask them first.
If you work in a system that helps others, encourage your workspace to host training sessions on trauma-informed care. If that is not available to you, engage in other learning. Books such as The Body Keeps the Score and Trauma Stewardship are great places to start. You can also look into ted talks such as Being Informed to Trauma and How Trauma-Informed Care Saved My Life both of which are amazing videos to watch. Do some Googling and find research in support of your field concerning trauma.
It’s up to us to change the world as we see it and ensure that it is trauma-informed. We deserve a trauma-informed world.