Trauma-Informed - PDF - The Trauma Toolkit (PTSD)



This toolkit aims to provide knowledge to service providers working with adults who have experienced or been affected by trauma. It will also help service providers and organizations to work from a trauma-informed perspective and develop trauma-informed relationships that cultivate safety, trust, and compassion.

 Traumatic events happen to all people of all ages and across all socio-economic strata in our society. These events can cause terror, intense fear, horror, helplessness, and physical stress reactions. Sometimes the impact of these events does not simply go away when they are over. Instead, some traumatic events are profound experiences that can change the way children, adolescents, and adults see themselves and the world. Sometimes the impact of the trauma is not felt until weeks, months, or even years after the traumatic event.

Psychological trauma is a major public health issue affecting the health of people, families, and communities across Canada. Trauma places an enormous burden on every health care and human service system. Trauma is not only a mental health issue, but it also belongs to every health sector, including primary/ physical, mental, and spiritual health. Given the enormous influence that trauma has on health outcomes, it is important that every health care and human services provider has a basic understanding of trauma, can recognize the symptoms of trauma, and appreciates the role they play in supporting recovery. Health care, human services, and, most importantly, the people who receive these services benefit from trauma-informed approaches.

Trauma is so prevalent that service providers should naturally assume that many of the people to whom they provide services have, in some way or another, been affected by trauma. Although trauma is often the root cause behind many of the public health and social issues that challenge our society, service providers all too often fail to make the link between the trauma and the challenges and problems their clients, patients and residents, and even co-workers, present.

From the time the trauma occurs, people can experience the effects in all stages of their life and in their day to day activities - parenting, working, socializing, attending appointments - and interpersonal relationships. It should be noted that most people who experience traumatic events do not go on to develop symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, for many people, poor mental and physical health, depression and anxiety can become a greater challenge.

Author:   Mary Jo Bolton (clinical director)


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