Can Do Healthcare - Thinking Differently Together About Trauma Informed Care

• In the year ending 2019, 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse in the UK, and every year, 1 in 3 victims of domestic abuse are men, equating to over 750,000 men every year. • Just under 40% of people involved in road accidents in the UK, develop PTSD as a result. • 1 in 8 individuals in our UK armed forces have been seen in military healthcare for a mental health related reason. • People who suffer and survive critical illnesses are at significant risk of developing PTSD. • Up to 45% of new mothers report experiencing birth trauma. If we add to that list those who experience traumatic injuries, victims of crime, hate, bereavement, loss, natural disaster we start to see the picture that it is an enormous amount in our communities that are affected by trauma. Effective trauma treatment isn’t about telling stories of what happened in the past, it’s about what is happening for people now, it’s about helping people to be present and to tolerate and manage what they are feeling in the here and now. Seeing symptoms as intelligence and insight into trauma experiences and recognising normal reactions to abnormal events will ensure that trauma is dealt with more effectively and differently within our system. Recognising resilience and working with people to utilise their resilience helps to reconstruct and recontextualise trauma in a way that is more manageable for the individual, rather than what is more manageable for the system. This can be done by starting to see beyond ‘what is wrong with you’ and start seeing ‘what happened to you’ when we are dealing with individuals in our services and roles. An effective recovery process requires the reconstruction of these symptoms and systems. Trauma informed care or practice would look different in every setting because it is based on unique individuals and their organisations - whether it is used as a culture shift, a framework or even as a lens through which services can be reviewed, commitment must be made to the following principles: • It has to be a whole system approach – it is not something we can do in a siloed nature, which is what up to now, has happened. It is essential that we adopt the approach across our whole system to prevent it just being another buzz word for the year, or just a twohour training session that people did. The way in which people heal and engage with our services will not change unless we make some changes as a whole system. • Trauma awareness - trauma informed practitioners will understand that not only the prevalence, but the impact of trauma amongst their service user cohort, and within their own workforce. Policy and practice within organisations and systems will reflect this awareness. • Trauma informed systems have to be strengths based – service users and practitioners will work together, identifying focus on existing strengths and resilience and building upon those. • Genuine choice, empowerment and restoration of relationships will be part of trauma informed service delivery for both service users and our workforce, to facilitate healing and avoid re-traumatisation. • Trauma informed practice or care cannot exist without safety. Policy and practice at every level will reflect our commitment to provide both physical and emotional safety for service users and staff across our whole system. Fiona finished with a call to action: highlighting how, for this to work, it is important for all of us no matter what our role in the system is. People are telling us very firmly and clearly what they need from us and we must listen differently. Trauma and our response to trauma is firmly on the agenda in our ICS and it is up to us all to keep it there. 3 | Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System