Trauma Informed Care

By September 1, 2017 No Comments

Kath Sellick from University of Melbourne presented insightfully on her research about Trauma informed Care in Australia – “Trauma-Informed Care – a paradigm shift or a band aid on a broken system.” She interviewed people who hear voices with a history of sexual abuse and mental health professionals who work with people who hear voices and have a history of sexual abuse. 
Listening to the words of people Kath has interviewed reminded me that we need to ensure our services don’t traumatise people who come into hospital.
This was something I always struggled with when I worked with people with a lived experience of mental illness as most of the time I was their cheer squad, supporting them to engage in their recovery journey and do what they wanted to do, except when sometimes everything went pear shaped and extra intervention was needed and they didn’t want it.
Kath suggests some ways to start: gender-separate wards, minimise seclusion and restraint, enhanced control of treatment and ensure staff are trained in trauma informed care.
It’s always been my strong belief that in all work undertaken,  I think about what care and support I would want for my spouse, my child, my siblings, my parent or me and aim for this for all people. This is particularly so when ensuring there are physically and emotionally safe places for people who need hospital based support. Trauma-informed care is a great start but it isn’t the complete answer.