I work at the Mental Health Association of Frederick County in Maryland and 11 months ago, our agency took on the challenge of becoming a "trauma informed agency." Almost a year in, we are still very much defining what that means for all staff at all levels. We have completed an organizational assessment to measure job satisfaction versus compassion fatigue (ProQoL) as well as an agency assessment of where we currently are on the TI scale using an assessment from USF. The agency has adopted a definition for ourselves and the Board of Directors has signed a resolution of being trauma informed. Throughout the process so far, we used the key principles from SAMHSA as foundational knowledge. Currently, the volunteer work group supervising this effort is arranging for the entire staff of 65 and all volunteers (100+) to view the documentary, "Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope" followed by a debrief to identify what it is that we expect all staff and volunteers to know about trauma. Our idea is to identify and create the "New Employee Orientation" piece and then build skills for all levels of staff from there. It has been a very interesting and at times challenging journey as we all come at it with different backgrounds, experiences, and interpretation of what being trauma informed means at a personal level. This is compounded by the aspirational goal of supporting clients and families from TI-perspective as well as staff from both a personal and secondary level of TI support.
As our agency develops itself around this very important topic, we hope to help lead our community in becoming trauma informed. We are very active in the larger conversation about how our County can become a TI Community across all sectors, institutions, etc. I am not sure if this posts helps or not but I did feel our struggle and slow progress was worth mentioning. Best of luck and please share your own progress and findings. Dr. Anda speaks of a trauma informed world and we agree - that is the goal.