Editor's Note: This excellent letter was widely circulated today across Oregon to detail the response of Trauma Informed Oregon to COVID-19 and ask the grassroots to provide feedback on needs and experience during this challenging time.
Dear colleagues, partners, and neighbors across Oregon,
Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) is OPEN—don’t worry, not physically open. We are absolutely following physical distancing to flatten the curve, to protect others, and to respect the great sacrifices that so many are making. We have been in touch with many groups on their thinking about Coronavirus and COVID-19 responses through a trauma-informed (TI) lens and how this is happening across sectors and regions in the state.
This is uncharted territory; however, the principles, knowledge, and practices of trauma informed care (TIC) can help us in our efforts to reduce the impact of the acute stress, to prevent unnecessary trauma-inducing policies, to mitigate and respond to the long-term impacts of toxic stress, and to prepare for healing and repair as this evolves. We do this work by centering diversity, equity, and inclusion knowing that although we are all experiencing this, the impact and needs will be different across communities.
I am focused on how
- we maintain social connection as this is a significant buffer to toxic stress,
- we think about the immediate needs but also the long-term needs of this event,
- we support those for whom there is no house or their home is not safe,
- we can support leaders to best support staff and communities.
More than anything I am focused on how Trauma Informed Oregon can be supportive to you.
Ways We Can Support You
- Address your questions about trauma informed approaches and COVID-19 responses. Seriously, ask us any questions. How do I talk to my kids about this? How do I connect with my 80-year-old aunt in a different state? How do I monitor my staff’s coping remotely? How do I communicate to staff in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them?
- Track down resources. Do you need a TIP sheet or have ideas about something specific? Let us know and we will work on it. I need a script for telling staff about the change in command. I need a tip sheet to give teachers about how and why they need to be in touch with students. I need a tip sheet on safe technology to connect youth. I need messaging in Spanish.
- Highlight the TI work you are doing. Do you have something good you’d like to share? Rural strategies? School-based strategies? Peer support? If something is working, let us know and we can share with others. It is an active learning experience!
Send questions and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we don’t have the answer we will find it or let you know.
What We Are Working On
- Updating the TIO homepage regularly. This will include strategies, things to think about, and sector specific ideas for Trauma-Informed COVID-19 responses.
- “Virtual office hours” – Starting Thursday, March 19, 2020 we will be holidng virtual office hours on Mondays 3:30-5:00 p.m. and Thursdays 8:30-10:00 a.m. TIO staff will be here to field questions, think through situations, and promote connection and support. Jump in anytime for as long as needed. We’ll try it out for a few weeks and see how it goes. See our Community Incident Response page for the Zoom link. If you aren’t up for Zooming and you need time to talk through a situation at your organization, within your system, or in your community, please email us at email@example.com and we can set that up.
- FAQs regarding TIC and COVID-19 will be collected and made available. We will update resources but want to help with the application of all of this as well.
- Creating Considerations for a Trauma Informed Response for Work Settings. We're also providing strategies to help implement responses to COVID-19, please include any you have by adding them directly to the Google Document.