Skip to content
The National Council logo

Trauma-Informed Approaches Learning Communities

Applications for the Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community are due by May 4, 2018.

Apply here.

Make your school a place all children can learn and thrive with the skills you develop through the National Council’s Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community.

Connect with experts and professionals like you from schools across the nation and become part of a one-of-a-kind Learning Community in a year-long journey dedicated to creating healthier schools with a trauma-sensitive approach.

The Learning Community will kick-off in Dallas this July at the first of two in-person meetings. This is just the beginning. As a member of the Learning Community, you’ll benefit from a series of coaching calls and webinars, access to useful tools and resources, and join a listserv of peers and experts. You’ll learn to:

  • Build a trauma-sensitive school that supports integrating evidence-based principles, policies and practices into your school’s cultural fabric.
  • Create safe environments where all students can learn.
  • Nourish community partnerships that support children and families within the schools.
  • Integrate trauma screening and assessment into a multi-tiered system of assessment and intervention.
  • Increase compassionate and restorative practices as you minimize exclusionary discipline.
  • Equip your staff with the skills they need to stay emotionally healthy and address secondary traumatic stress/compassion fatigue.

Want to learn more about the Learning Community? Listen to our informational webinar from February 28, 2018. You’ll hear about how the Learning Community works, expectations and commitments, and the benefits to you and your school and district.  And find Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community materials here.

Questions? Contact Sharday Lewis.

An estimated 60 percent of adults in the United States experience an adverse life event (trauma) at least once in their lives. The prevalence of childhood trauma is evident in every school and classroom. Twenty-six percent of children in the United States will witness or experience a traumatic event before they turn four, and 4 of every 10 children in America say they experienced a physical assault during the past year, with 1 in 10 receiving an assault-related injury. We also know that more than 60 percent of youth age 17 and younger have been exposed to crime, violence and abuse either directly or indirectly.

When unaddressed, people who experienced trauma can face poor health outcomes, such as exacerbated mental health problems and increased risk of heart disease, suicide and addiction. Traumatic experiences also greatly affect a child’s journey through school. A child impacted by trauma may experience physical ailments, intrusive thoughts and fears, and decreased attention and concentration, all which impact learning. Students with trauma histories may exhibit aggression and anger, strive for perfection, or quietly disengage, all which may affect the ability to form relationships. Teachers, support staff, and administrators spend a large amount of time supporting, calming and disciplining these students.

So what do we do? Create trauma-informed environments in our schools, behavioral health and primary care organizations, community services, and large public and private systems.

Educators implementing trauma-sensitive practices are teaching social, emotional, non-cognitive and resilience skills to all students in the school. They are moving from traditional discipline, such as suspension and withholding recess, to mindfulness and restorative practices. And, they are seeing amazing results, including decreases in suspensions and office referrals and increases in attendance, student engagement, academic success and graduation.

Behavioral health, social service and community organizations have engaged in the National Council’s Trauma-Informed Learning Communities since 2011. Over 340 organizations have worked to implement screening and assessment for trauma and trauma-informed best practices, to increase community awareness of trauma impact and trauma-informed care and to address secondary traumatic stress/compassion fatigue among staff.

The National Council wants to ensure that all organizations, systems and communities across the country have the necessary tools and skills to assess and address the impact of trauma on the people they support. In 2017, we offered two national learning communities: Trauma-Sensitive Schools for schools and districts and National Trauma-Informed Care for behavioral health, social service, community and large system organizations. In 2018, we are offering a national Learning Community on Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Approaches for behavioral health, social service, community, and large system organizations.

Over the course of the year, participants connected with trauma experts and other organizations benefit from a series of coaching calls and webinars, two in-person summits, with access to tools and resources, as well as membership in an exclusive listserv of peers and experts. Participants learned how to:

  • Create safe environments in which people can heal and learn
  • Build community partnerships that support those you serve
  • Implement trauma-informed best practices suited to the organizational environment
  • Increase community awareness of trauma impact and trauma-informed care
  • Address secondary traumatic stress/compassion fatigue among staff
  • And more
Congratulations to our 2016-2017 Trauma-Informed Care Learning Community Organizations:
  • Resources for Human Development
  • Barber National Institute
  • Community Provider of Enrichment Services, Inc.
  • Austin Travis County Integral Care
  • Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care
  • Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic
  • Aurora Mental Health Center
  • Casa de los Ninos
  • Monarch
  • Arizona’s Children Association
  • Advocates
  • Cornerstone Montgomery
  • Ravenwood Mental Health Center
  • Western Montana Mental Health Center
  • La Frontera Center
  • Cayuga Counseling Services, Inc.
  • Amanecer Community Counseling Service
  • Cone Behavioral Health Hospital
Consulting Opportunities

In addition to the learning community model, the National Council offers custom consulting and training on trauma-informed integrated health, mental health and substance use care. To ask how we can tailor a package to meet your unique needs, contact  Jody Levison Johnson.

©2018 National Council for Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.