Why Trauma-Informed?

A majority of our nation's population suffers from trauma, and everyone responds and operates differently under adversity and stress. If temporary, these reactions can save us; but prolonged exposure can create profound negative impacts throughout a lifespan, if not addressed, which can ripple across families, communities, and systems. With strong resilience factors and healing resources in place, the impact of trauma can be less severe.

DEFINITIONS: Trauma is an EVENT, series of events, or set of circumstances EXPERIENCED

by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse EFFECTS

on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being. (SAMHSA)

Trauma is "a thing or things that happened either too much, too soon, too fast, or for too long without something being  attended to by something reparative or healing." (Resmaa Menakem)

3 Things to Know About Trauma

Trauma is pervasive

  • 70% of U.S. adults have experienced at least one traumatic event
     

  • 46% of U.S. children have experienced at least one event by age 18 & more than 20% have experienced at least two

  • Disproportionate impacts on communities can be caused by historical, racial, and systemic trauma, social disadvantages & cascading disasters

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The cost of inaction is high

  • Major underlying cause of substance abuse, suicide, gun violence, school dropouts and poor health outcomes
     

  • Direct correlation between trauma and some of our nation’s most prevalent and expensive health conditions including diabetes, COPD, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure
     

  • Impacts every community system, putting more burdens on our under-resourced services (E.G., education, social, legal & housing)

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It is preventable,
and recovery is possible

By investing back into our communites, we can prevent trauma and provide supportive healing. And preventing trauma is cost- and resource-effective:

  • 56% reduction in ER visits
     

  • 98% reduction in school suspension rates
     

  • Every $1 invested into prevention can save $35

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Trauma-Informed Policies & Practices Work

31% behavioral referrals

40% expulsions

83% suspensions

18% foster system reentry

33% average time to reunify

43% child mental health symptoms

54% inmate-on-inmate assaults

60% inmate suicide attempts

62% inmate-on-staff assaults

63% physical health complaints

65% PTSD symptom prevalence

86% problematic substance use

(Sources & citations

29% psych hospitalization

32% seclusion/restraint

35% staff turnover