Bay Area communities working together to change the way we understand, respond to, and heal trauma.
We seek to foster healthy, resilient, and safe communities through trustworthy, compassionate and coordinated public systems.
The Bay Area Trauma Informed Regional Collaborative group consists of 7 counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco) working together to understand, respond to, and heal trauma. In October 2014, the group was awarded a 4-year SAMHSA grant for their proposal to respond to trauma on a systems level. The grant will fund the group’s key activity: a regional clearinghouse and coordinating center. Their goal is to create a shared and trauma informed regional infrastructure to implement, sustain, and improve services for children and youth affected by trauma. The focuses of the group are: training, trauma informed practices, policy alignment, and care coordination.
In Santa Clara County, the Behavioral Health Services Department has taken the regional initiative to the local level. Efforts are underway to develop and implement trauma informed care and infuse trauma-informed practices at all levels within an organization. The focus also has expanded to cross systems integration and collaboration of trauma informed practices. Exciting times are ahead as Santa Clara County moves toward a system of care that looks at all practices through a trauma lens.
Trauma informed practices are approaches which include: creating a safe, supportive, welcoming, and respectful environment; educating and training all staff including administrators, direct care staff, case managers, and support staff about the impact of trauma; implementing screening, and assessment tools and procedures to identify clients who have experienced trauma and determine the impact of that trauma, and training clinical staff in trauma-specific treatments.
Six Core Values and Principles
TRAUMA INFORMED PRINCIPLES
Understanding Trauma and Stress
Without understanding trauma, we are more likely to adopt behaviors and beliefs that are negative and unhealthy. However, when we understand trauma and stress we can act compassionately and take well- informed steps toward wellness.
– We understand that trauma is common, but experienced uniquely due to its many variations in form and impact.
Stress – We understand that optimal levels of positive stress can be healthy, but that chronic or extreme stress has damaging effects.
Reactions – We understand that many trauma reactions are adaptive, but that some resulting behaviors and beliefs may impede recovery and wellness.
– We understand that trauma can be overcome effectively through accessible treatments, skills, relationships, and personal practices.
Compassion and Dependability
Trauma is overwhelming and can leave us feeling isolated or betrayed, which may make it difficult to trust others and receive support. However, when we experience compassionate and dependable relationships, we reestablish trusting connections with others that foster mutual wellness.
Compassion – We strive to act compassionately across our interactions with others through the genuine expression of concern and support.
Relationships – We value and seek to develop secure and dependable relationships characterized by mutual respect and attunement.
Communication – We promote dependability and create trust by communicating in ways that are clear, inclusive, and useful to others.
Safety and Stability
Trauma unpredictably violates our physical, social, and emotional safety resulting in a sense of threat and need to manage risks. Increasing stability in our daily lives and having these core safety needs met can minimize our stress reactions and allow us to focus our resources on wellness.
Stability – We minimize unnecessary changes and, when changes are necessary, provide sufficient notice and preparation
Physical – We create environments that are physically safe, accessible, clean, and comfortable.
Social-Emotional – We maintain healthy interpersonal boundaries and manage conflict appropriately in our relationships with others.
Collaboration and Empowerment
Trauma involves a loss of power and control that makes us feel helpless. However, when we are prepared for and given real opportunities to make choices for ourselves and our care, we feel empowered and can promote our own wellness.
– We recognize the value of personal agency and understand how it supports recovery and overall wellness.
Preparation – We proactively provide information and support the development of skills that are necessary for the effective empowerment of others.
– We regularly offer others opportunities to make decisions and choices that have a meaningful impact on their lives
Cultural Humility and Responsiveness
We come from diverse social and cultural groups that may experience and react to trauma differently. When we are open to understanding these differences and respond to them sensitively we make each other feel understood and wellness is enhanced.
–We demonstrate knowledge of how specific social and cultural groups may experience, react to, and recover from trauma differently.
– We are proactive in respectfully seeking information and learning about differences between social and cultural groups.
Responsiveness – We have and can easily access support and resources for sensitively meeting the unique social and cultural needs of others.
Resilience and Recovery
Trauma can have a long-lasting and broad impact on our lives that may create a feeling of hopelessness. Yet, when we focus on our strengths and clear steps we can take toward wellness we are more likely to be resilient and recover.
Path – We recognize the value of instilling hope by seeking to develop a clear path towards wellness that addresses stress and trauma.
Strengths – We proactively identify and apply strengths to promote wellness and growth, rather than focusing singularly on symptom reduction.
Practices – We are aware of and have access to effective treatments, skills, and personal practices that support recovery and resiliency.
ta Juarez, LCSW