Last month, COIN hosted a trauma informed care training for our partners and volunteers to learn about the science behind trauma, triggering effects and examples of trauma in immigrants and refugees. In total, we had 25 attendees that included the entire staff from the Center for Victim and Human Rights. As we seek to create a community of care within Central Indiana that is responsive to the needs of our immigrant population, it’s vital to recognize the different types of trauma people have been exposed to in their lives. Understanding the impact of trauma on immigrants is an important first step in building a supportive community. Yet, we must take another step in learning how to recognize and respond to the effects of trauma, which is why we held this training for COIN partners and volunteers.
What is trauma informed care?
Trauma informed care is a treatment framework that includes understanding, recognizing and responding the effects of trauma. Trauma informed care focuses on the physical, psychological and emotional safety of its consumers and providers. Additionally, survivors are empowered and work to rebuild a sense of control that’s often lost due to traumatic experiences.
What makes trauma informed care unique?
Consumers seeking care often encounter services that reflect the control and power experienced in past relationships that caused the initial trauma, increasing the likelihood of retraumatization. Conversely, trauma informed care policies and services use the experiences of trauma survivors to establish mutually beneficial programs that work for both the person seeking services and the provider. Providers in a trauma informed environment guide and support those seeking the services, but also engage in their own self-care practices to manage their own stresses and empathy fatigue.
Why is it important to us?
Immigrants experience trauma in many ways that stem from things like exposure to violence and separation from their home and family members, among other challenges that arise when they get here. Additionally, our country’s current political climate opens up the very real possibility of retraumatization. Trauma isn’t only limited to the individual but also has the ability to affect families and communities. Untreated trauma contributes to impairment of cognitive, social and emotional skills, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, domestic abuse and child abuse. When untreated trauma goes untreated for multiple generations, the entire community pays the price.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please refer to our Programs page to find services that may help you.