News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 2, 2013

Hamilton Center part of trauma-informed community

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Hamilton Center, Inc. is one of 37 behavioral health organizations across the United States that have been chosen to participate in the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare’s 2013 Trauma-informed Behavioral Healthcare Learning Community launched in April.

Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives. The adoption of trauma-informed care environments focuses on the delivery of a broad range of services, including mental health, substance abuse, housing, vocational or employment support, domestic violence and victim assistance and peer support. In all of these environments, TIC seeks to change the paradigm from one that asks, “What’s wrong with you?” to one that asks, “What has happened to you?”

When a human service program takes the step to become trauma-informed, every part of its organization, management and service delivery system is assessed and potentially modified to include a basic understanding of how trauma affects the life of an individual seeking services.

Trauma-informed organizations, programs and services are based on an understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors that traditional service delivery approaches may exacerbate, so that these services and programs can be more supportive and avoid re-traumatization.

Hamilton Center is creating a team that will include clinicians, executives, quality staff and consumers. This team will begin focusing on children services with evidence-based practices.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare’s learning community offers individual and group coaching by renowned national trauma experts, webinars, networking opportunities and exclusive tools and resources. At the end of the year-long learning community, participants will be deeply immersed in implementing trauma-informed approaches and know how to:

n improve or implement screening and assessment for trauma;

n increase engagement of trauma survivors in treatment for improved outcomes;

n develop and sustain a trauma-informed, educated and responsive workforce;

n address secondary traumatic stress/compassion fatigue among staff;

n provide emerging and evidence-based trauma-informed best practices;

n create physically and psychologically safe and secure environments; and

n engage and build trauma-informed community partnerships.