On Tuesday, October 14, the American Institute for Research (AIR) sponsored a briefing, Trauma-Informed Care: Change the Culture to Change the Outcome, at the National Press Club. The panel discussion included representatives from the National Center on Family Homelessness at AIR, Too High News, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), National Council for Behavioral Health and Women in Need. The briefing focused on a comprehensive approach to address trauma intervention services across various settings. The panelists focused attention on the role of trauma and the prevalence of trauma across systems and populations including the justice system, homeless populations, mental and behavioral health care systems, veteran’s populations, education and child welfare.

The SAMHSA representative, Larke Huang, Director of the Office of Behavioral Health Equity, discussed the four “R’s”, that are important to implementing an effective trauma-informed strategy in an organization or as part of a program: Realizing the widespread impact, Recognizing the signs and symptoms on individual, families and staff, Responding by including knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and Re-traumatization which means that efforts are made to not expose individuals to additional trauma.
AIR released a policy paper, “Trauma-Informed Care and Trauma-Specific Services: A Comprehensive Approach to Trauma Intervention” As part of that paper the authors called for, “A commitment by all leaders, …at the federal, state, and local levels…to fund research and the resources aimed at effective implementation. Methodologically rigorous studies are required to continue to build the evidence base of trauma-informed care as a framework and complement to trauma-specific services. Training the health and human service workforce represents a critical step in this evolution. “ AIR also has some additional resources through, Long Story Short: What Difference Can Trauma-informed Care Make?