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Trauma-Informed Care Learning Community

Did you know that 90 percent of people who receive services from behavioral health organizations have experienced trauma? People with mental illnesses and addictions whose trauma goes unaddressed have greater mental health problems and increased risk of heart disease, suicide, and substance abuse.

The Trauma-Informed Care Learning Community is an exciting opportunity for mental health and substance use organizations committed to implementing, sustaining and spreading Trauma-Informed Care throughout their organization to join with other providers to promote a fundamental organizational change in the culture of behavioral healthcare. Through this learning community participating organizations will enhance their ability to provide safe and secure physical and social environments and services that are easily accessible, person-centered, competently delivered, culturally respectful and consistent with recovery oriented principles of collaboration, shared decision-making and self-direction.


Applications for this learning community ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED.

For any additional  questions please contact Dana Lange.


Selection Criteria

The National Council selected participating organizations based on review of completed applications. Preference was given to sites that:

  • Provide mental health and/or substance abuse services.
  • Serve a culturally diverse population.
  • Have leadership buy-in and show willingness to commit the time, energy and enthusiasm to participate in this project.
  • Demonstrate ability to effectively implement trauma-informed care practices throughout their organization.
  • Are committed to measuring and recording outcomes.
Expected Outcomes

The year-long learning community brings you the best of two worlds — the expertise of senior National Council trauma experts and the experience of hundreds of behavioral health organizations that have walked the trauma-informed walk with them.

“By continuously inundating our company with this new knowledge, we have been able to maintain continued buy-in and support from upper level management as well as all staff.”
-Hamilton Center, Inc.

More than 150 organizations have participated in four national trauma-informed care learning communities offered by the National Council since 2011. Participants have been able to create safer environments, address staff self-care, provide trauma-sensitive services, and avoid re-traumatization of those they serve. The learning communities have led them to transform organizational culture through critical policy and practice changes, implement evidence-based practices, expand consumer and peer support roles, and partner with diverse human and social services agencies to provide community-wide trauma awareness and training.

At the end of the 2016-17 Trauma-Informed Care Learning Community, every participating organization will be able to assess, develop, and implement trauma-informed practices, policies, and procedures. Participants will learn how to:

  • Implement screening and assessment for trauma
  • Increase consumer/survivor engagement and involvement
  • Use evidence-based trauma-informed best practices
  • Create physically and psychologically safe and secure environments
  • Develop and sustain a trauma-informed, educated, and responsive workforce
  • Address secondary traumatic stress/compassion fatigue among staff
  • Develop tools to support organizational wellness
  • Track performance improvement
  • Engage and build trauma-informed community partnerships
Process and Logistics

The learning community will consist of:

  • A kickoff webinar
  • Face-to-face meeting
  • Instructional group webinars presented by national experts in trauma-informed care.
  • Individual coaching calls.
  • Subscription to an exclusive listserv with current and past National Council Trauma-Informed Learning Community participants for exchange of ideas and resources.
  • Face-to-face concluding summit at the 2017 National Council Conference in Seattle, WA spring 2017 (at least one members of the core implementation team must attend).

Success Stories

Douglas County Citizens Committee on Alcoholism

  • Implemented safety curriculum in all addiction treatment programs and a trauma screen for all residential treatment admissions
  • Successfully identified Trauma champions from peers and foster parents they observed working from a trauma-informed approach
  • Began distributing a monthly newsletter focusing on trauma-informed care

Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene

  • Trained over 200 staff in house and throughout system
  • “The tools provided through the TIC Learning Community and phone calls with [our coach] provided the additional attention and guided expertise needed for continued momentum.”
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 Jessica Tucker at

©2015 National Council for Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.