Knowing is not enough. Just being informed about trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, epigenetics is not enough. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) asserts an organization is more than just informed once the program or organization:
"Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization."
But how is this accomplished, "fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices"? There are many theories which offer the best ways to engineer organizational change and manage the change for lasting impact, however; few consultants and trainers are offering this as part of their trauma informed education.
When looking to become a trauma informed organization or program it is important to ask these questions when working with a consultant or trainer:
- What evidenced based research will be used to provide the trauma information?
- How will information be translated into skills employees or community members can use?
- Who receives training? How will their involvement be crucial tor integrating knowledge into practice?
- How will change occur in the culture of the organization or community?
- How is "buy in" accomplished?
- What is the plan for sustaining change?
- How will change be measured?
Be wary of any program which promises sustained organizational or community change after one workshop or one presentation. Look for consultants or trainers who are invested in understanding your organizational or community culture before implementing programming.
Becoming a trauma informed organization or community is a process not just knowing information. Knowing is not enough. Skills + Action = Healing