Task Force Launches Trauma Informed Care Initiative

Posted on Oct 18, 2017

Task Force Launches Trauma Informed Care Initiative

New project due to funding from the United Way St Croix Valley

The Mental Health Task Force of Polk County has received a grant from the United Way St Croix Valley to launch a new Trauma Informed Care (TIC) readiness program and to provide a series of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) community awareness presentations.

The goal of the TIC initiative is to evaluate the extent of TIC awareness, training and implementation that has occurred in Polk County, to identify areas of need and opportunities for TIC implementation within schools and other organizations, and for the MHTF to serve as a community resource for TIC support.

Trauma Informed Care is an approach to engaging people that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma affects the individual, families, and communities by disrupting healthy development, adversely affecting relationships, and contributing to mental health issues. Understanding the impact of trauma is an important first step in becoming a compassionate and supportive community.

Individual trauma can be measured through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), negative occurrences in childhood, including abuse, neglect, or household dysfunction, which impact a child’s ability to learn in school, interpret and function socially with the world around him/her, and increases the risks for problems with poor health, addiction, and the ability to function in society as an adult.

ACEs presentations help spread awareness of the impact ACEs have on health in the community and the value of trauma informed services.

Although mental health providers, clinicians, school administration, County employees and individuals in a variety of public service roles, have received TIC training, with some institutions and organizations having had some exposure TIC, there is no entity the works to educate, coordinate and advance the goal of becoming a trauma informed community. The MHTF hopes to fill that role in Polk County.

For more information, contact Lisa Murphy, Program Coordinator, at lisamurphy@mentalhealthpolk.org.