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Drive Collective Well-Being with a Public Health Approach

Trauma, in its many forms, leaves an indelible mark on our individual and community life. How our systems and institutions respond to trauma recovery plays a pivotal role in determining the trajectory of individual well-being and the broader health landscape of our world. Indeed, the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work, play, and connect have a significant influence on individual and collective experiences and outcomes.


Engaging action through a public health frame helps shift us from simple responding to trauma on an individual level when it has already occurred, toward cultivating a culture of well-being achieved through proactively investing in well-being as well as leveraging positive protective factors to maximize intergenerational well-being and support individual and collective flourishing. 


Embedded within a public health approach is the recognition of the inherent resilience within individuals and communities, which can be unlocked and built upon to prevent and mitigate the impacts of trauma. A trauma-informed public health approach is built upon an acknowledgment that, even in the face of adversity, there exists a wellspring of strength that can be harnessed to navigate challenges and promote recovery.

CTIPP stands at the forefront of recognizing the potential synergy between trauma-informed care and leading-edge knowledge on the social, environmental, and political determinants of health and mental health. By creating change within our systems and institutions based on awareness of the interconnectedness of these factors, we collectively are able to develop effective strategies to prevent trauma from occurring in the first place, as well as to reduce the prevalence and cascading impacts of potentially-traumatic experiences that are not preventable. 


​ This dimension of the vision calls for us to:

  • Support a universal precaution for trauma by implementing comprehensive public education initiatives and public awareness campaigns

  • Create financial incentives and regulatory structures to encourage primary healthcare providers to utilize trauma-informed screening, assessment, treatment, and referral procedures to promote earlier detection of trauma symptomology and impacts, increase patient education and empowerment, and facilitate referrals to support increased access to holistic supports, as needed

  • Promote a focus on building on protective factors to create thriving, self-led communities and eliminate disparities in relation to the occurrences of trauma and ACEs

  • Support activities to promote both primordial and primary prevention

    • Promote healthy attachment, positive parenting practices, life skills training, positive coping strategies, and nurturing environments to mitigate the risk of early trauma

    • Implement policies that address social, environmental, and political determinants of health and mental health, such as poverty, inequality, housing insecurity, and discrimination, which are significant contributors to trauma exposure

    • Ensure stable housing environments to protect individuals and families from displacement and instability, known risk factors for trauma

    • Integrate trauma-informed practices into early childhood education programs to foster resilience and emotional regulation from an early age

    • Fund and expand programs that provide trauma-informed parenting support and education, addressing the root causes of potential trauma in the family unit

    • Reduce barriers to food security programs and increase access to healthy, affordable food, including making programs like WIC, SNAP, and TANF more accessible and equitable

    • Increase protections to reduce evictions

    • Close loopholes to reduce discrimination in housing practices

    • Increase accessibility to mental health resources, including affordable counseling and mental health services, to address stressors before they escalate and compound

    • Increase equitable access to financial education, planning, and management resources

    • Increase the supply of and equitable access to affordable housing with integrated and/or accessible local community-based wellness supports

    • Invest in community-based programming that addresses specific community needs and promote healthy behaviors, such as anti-bullying programs, substance use harm reduction and prevention initiatives, and conflict resolution workshops

  • Mandate trauma-informed content to be integrated into education, training, professional development, and licensure acquisition requirements for the healthcare workforce

    • Require universities and other higher educational institutions with degree programs geared toward educating individuals who intend to work in medical and/or healthcare-related jobs to incorporate trauma content into the curriculum to receive accreditation with relevant entities

    • Develop standardized training content on individual, collective, and intergenerational trauma and trauma-informed approaches to care

    • Require content on intercultural practice, focusing on culturally-bound/locality-specific manifestations of trauma with attention to community diversity and demographics to thwart misdiagnosis/inappropriate treatment planning

    • Educate healthcare professionals on historical injustices inflicted on specific populations and implement strategies to repair harm and rebuild trust

    • Increase training and resources for healthcare professionals to address the emotional and psychological impacts of their work

  • Implement policies and practices that create safe and supportive work environments, reducing stress and promoting well-being for the workforce

  • Establish a tax on licensed firearms dealers, firearms manufacturers, and ammunition vendors to fund programs that address the causes and harms of gun violence and related trauma

  • Fund participatory action research exploring the relationship between experiencing trauma across the life course and related health outcomes, highlighting the benefits of trauma-informed approaches to promote positive outcomes and advance health equity

    • Engage individuals, groups, families, and communities with lived experience of trauma and adversity in devising, implementing, and evaluating trauma-informed healthcare systems through trauma-informed methods such as empowerment evaluation

  • Maximize connections and collaboration among healthcare, social services, and community-based organizations to ensure coordinated care for trauma survivors

    • Award funding to build integrated care providers that are “one-stop shops,” combining the delivery of multiple health and human services to increase equitable access to quality services in rural, urban, tribal, and other underserved, under-resourced areas afflicted by transportation-related and other barriers to care

    • Expand trauma-informed home visiting programs in primary care settings to support individuals and families affected by trauma

  • Expand public healthcare program coverage to include culturally diverse traditional healing practices

    • Partner with and empower communities to develop culturally-relevant and sustainable trauma-informed initiatives

  • Ensure equitable access to telehealth and online resources for individuals with limited access to traditional healthcare services

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