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What is trauma informed practice?

The Scottish Government recognised the impact traumatic experiences was having on people. In 2016 NHS Education for Scotland (NES) was tasked by the Scottish Government to develop resources to introduce and implement trauma informed practice for all of Scotland.

The vision was to develop a trauma informed, responsive nation and workforce that would:

  • Be informed by people with lived experience
  • Recognise the importance of wellbeing in the workforce
  • Recognise where people are affected by trauma and adversity
  • Respond in ways that prevent further harm
  • Address inequalities and improve life chances

Being ‘Trauma Informed’ means being able to recognise when someone may be affected by trauma, collaboratively adjusting how we work to take this into account and responding in a way that supports recovery, does no harm and recognises and supports people’s resilience.

The Window of tolerance of organisations, services and systems

Being ‘Trauma Informed’ is underpinned by the 5 R’s:

  • Realising how common the experience of trauma and adversity is
  • Recognising the different ways that trauma can affect people
  • Responding by taking account of the ways that people can be affected by trauma to support recovery
  • Opportunities to Resist re-traumatisation and offer a greater sense of choice and control, empowerment, collaboration and safety with everyone that you have contact with
  • Recognising the central importance of Relationships

What are the benefits of a trauma informed workforce?

There are many potential benefits associated with becoming trauma informed.

For example,

  • creating safer physical and emotional environments for clients, families, and staff
  • creating and sustaining opportunities for choice, power and control through increased therapeutic interactions
  • reducing the possibility of re-traumatization
  • improving the social environment in a way that improves all relationships
  • creating environments that care for and support staff
  • increasing the quality of services, reducing unnecessary interventions, reducing costs
  • creating a resiliency and strengths-based focus
  • increasing client and family satisfaction
  • increasing success and job satisfaction among staff

(List adapted from: National Council for Behavioral Health, 2013)

Would you like to plan for trauma informed change within your service?

Trauma Informed Lens:

By looking at your service through a trauma informed lens, you can evaluate whether you are meeting the principles of a trauma informed service. The principles are: Safety, Choice, Collaboration, Trust & Empowerment.

Taking a trauma informed lens

Trauma Informed Lens:

The befriending service at KASP took an honest look through the trauma informed lens to see how well we are performing and highlight any areas for improvement. Using the headings: Access, Environment, Relationships, Supporting Recovery, Partnership working, Materials and Media, Policies and Procedures and Communication and Language ensuring that the principles of being trauma informed are met.

You can read the KASP Trauma informed lens by clicking the button below.

KASP - trauma informed lens

We found it difficult to condense such a huge subject and have only given some information in this blog. You can find out much more about Trauma Informed below;

National Trauma Training Programme