A resource for health practitioners supporting children and whānau in primary care settings [Hōngongoi (July) 2020]
Trauma impacts the health and wellbeing of many people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Community trauma, such as a pandemic or earthquake can exacerbate people's own experiences of trauma and adversity. How we respond can help enable whānau to regulate and restore their wellbeing.
A trauma-informed approach is about understanding the pervasive nature of trauma and how it affects people’s lives. It recognises the potential of people to heal despite traumatic experiences.
“With good social support, human beings are resilient.”
Trauma-informed healthcare is a resource jointly developed by Werry Workforce Whāraurau, Te Pou and Le Va for health practitioners supporting children and whānau in primary care settings. It describes the impact of trauma on physical health and wellbeing, and people’s engagement with services. It provides guidance on how health services can become trauma-informed when supporting children and whānau.
Being trauma-informed is about creating a culture of service delivery that promotes healing and empowerment and works to avoid inadvertently re-traumatising people. A trauma-informed approach shifts our focus from what is wrong with a person, to understanding what has happened to a person and how this impacts them.
The benefits of creating trauma-informed environments include safer spaces for staff, improved clinical decision-making and building collaborative care networks to help address the needs of the whole person and whānau.
This resource includes information on further training and is part of a series of resources developed by our national centres for mental health workforce development.
Weaving together knowledge for wellbeing
Trauma informed approaches
This resource aims to raise awareness of what trauma is, the effects of trauma, and how to develop trauma informed approaches within our workforce and organisations. It was developed by Te Rau Ora, Le Va, Te Pou and Werry Workforce Whāraurau.
Trauma is common:
It is important to recognise that many people experience, and continue to experience, trauma in their lives
Children/Tamariki hold the hopes and dreams of their whānau, community and Aotearoa. They are at the centre of all that we do. It is our responsibility to help children/tamariki thrive. There is a need for everyone working with children/tamariki to be aware of the impacts of trauma on the wellbeing of children/tamariki and their whānau.
Trauma potentially impacts all aspects of wellbeing for people, whānau and communities:
Thoughts, behaviours, feelings, spiritual beliefs, relationships and physical health may reflect experiences of trauma
Recognising, understanding and responding to trauma in an informed way leads to positive outcomes for people and whānau in Aotearoa.
Working in a trauma informed way means weaving together knowledge, understanding and responses:
This includes people, culture, systems and organisations
Everyone working with whānau needs to understand the impact of trauma on themselves, whānau, staff and others.
Te Pou website: "Knowledge of trauma and trauma informed approaches is important in mental health and addiction services given the high proportion of people who have experienced trauma. The acknowledgement of people’s experiences throughout their lives and their whānau is important for effective responses. The importance of trauma informed approaches is highlighted in Let’s get real and He Ara Oranga."
What you do every day can make a difference:
Often the small things make the biggest difference
► Click here to view the Trauma Informed Care eLearning courses