Trauma-informed approaches, and trauma informed care emerged partly in response to research demonstrating that trauma is widespread across society, that it is highly correlated with mental health and that this is a costly public health issue. The fundamental shift in providing support using a trauma-informed approach is to move from thinking ‘What is wrong with you?’ to considering ‘What happened to you?’. This article, authored by trauma survivors and service providers, describes trauma-informed approaches to mental healthcare, why they are needed and how barriers can be overcome so that they can be implemented as an organisational change process. It also describes how past trauma can be understood as the cause of mental distress for many service users, how service users can be retraumatised by ‘trauma-uninformed’ staff, suffer social trauma, psychiatric trauma, iatrogenic harm, and how staff can experience vicariously the service user’s trauma and can themselves be traumatised by practices such as restraint and seclusion. Trauma-informed mental healthcare offers opportunities to improve service users’ experiences, improve working environments for staff, increase job satisfaction and reduce stress levels by improving the relationships between staff and patients through greater understanding, respect and trust.
This course is based on the article, A Paradigm Shift-Relationships in Trauma-Informed Mental Health Services created by Angela Sweeney, et al in 2018.
Course Material Authors
Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.
Angela Sweeney is a trauma survivor and researcher. She has worked in mental health research since 2001, and has a particular interest in peri-natal mental health and trauma-informed approaches (TIA). Her current research is aimed at under- standing and improving assessment processes for talking therapies.
Beth Filson is a US-based writer and trainer in TIA. She works with diverse groups to integrate TIA in policy and practice. She also contributes to the development of Intentional Peer Support and peer support alternatives to the psychiatric system. Her early experience of multiple hospital admissions informs her work.
Angela Kennedy is a clinical psychologist who has worked in the NHS since 1990. She is trauma informed care lead for a large Mental Health Trust and is mental health lead for the North of England Clinical Network. Her focus is applying clinical knowledge to system-wide change, including compassion-focused cultures and leadership.
L.A. Rankin is a social worker with experience in many different settings with a variety of clients. She has worked with dementia and Alzheimers patients, dual diagnosis MH/MR, in a battered women’s shelter, and a rape crisis center. She also has 11 years of experience as a child protective social worker, where she earned certificates in domestic abuse/family violence and substance abuse.
Counselors, hospital administrators, marriage and family therapists, mental health administrators and social workers who work with trauma survivors. This content is at an intermediate level.
After taking this course, you should be able to:
Recognize trauma informed care is an important paradigm for the treatment of trauma.
Describe how the use of physical restraint may cause more harm to the patient and increases risk of harm to both staff and patient.
Identify that using a trauma lens will keep the truama patient better engaged with services.
Disclosure to Learners
Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships
CE Learning Systems adheres to the ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited
Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity –
including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others ― are required to disclose all relevant financial
relationships with ineligible entities (formerly known as commercial interests).
The following relevant financial relationships have been disclosed by this activity's planners, faculty, and
Planners and Reviewers
The planners of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.
Faculty: L.A. Rankin
There are no relevant disclosures.
There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.
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