National Council for Behavioral Health

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Trauma is any event or series of events that is experienced or witnessed by an individual and has long-lasting social, physical, spiritual or psychological effects (SAMHSA, 2012). Trauma is a universal experience that can happen to those with and without behavioral health conditions, is subjective and generally comes unexpectedly.

Trauma is pervasive and has incalculable human costs and extraordinary economic costs. The economic expenditures of untreated trauma-related alcohol and drug abuse alone were estimated at $160.7 billion in 2000. The estimated cost to society of child abuse and neglect is $94 billion per year, or $258 million per day. For child abuse survivors, long-term psychiatric and medical health care costs are estimated at $100 billion per year.

Lost productivity from violence accounted for $64.4 billion annually, with another $5.6 billion spent in medical care. Trauma is pervasive, but is treatable and many of its effects can be mitigated by interactions that create safety, trust, transparency, collaboration, mutuality, empowerment, voice, choice, have peer support and address cultural, historical and gender-specific issues.

The National Council believes that individuals, organizations, communities and systems can take specific actions to ease the burden of traumas from the past and minimize re-traumatization in the present and the future. It is not enough to just be trauma-informed organizations, but to be resilience-oriented at the individual, organizational and community/system levels. Resilience is the ability to adapt to trauma, tragedy and stress.

With a view toward being trauma-informed and building resilience in individuals, organizations and communities, the National Council offers training and consultation to increase knowledge, skills and abilities to move individuals, organizations and communities/systems forward in healing and building resilience.

Trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care is an organizational culture, structure and treatment framework built on understanding, recognizing and responding to all kinds of trauma. Implementing trauma-informed, resilience-oriented approaches marks a fundamental shift in care delivery that can catch health issues upstream, reduce dependence on emergency departments and decrease missed appointments, resulting in reduced costs and an enhanced health care experience.

Trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care asks not, “What’s wrong with you?” but, “What happened to you?” and “What’s strong with you?”


National Council: Leading the Way in Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Care

The National Council has taken a leadership role in transforming health care, taking trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care to scale across organizations, systems and communities. Recognizing that trauma is far-reaching in both scope and effect, the National Council partners with organizational leaders and other key stakeholders to shape the conversation and advance the direction of the field. We compile and infuse learning from our national reach to initiate research, support practice improvement initiatives and create actionable tools to facilitate organizational implementation.

The National Council for Behavioral Health not only provides training, but combines training with implementation science and change management strategies to ensure sustainable culture change.

We use the National Council’s Seven Domains of Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Care as a standardized framework and design thinking approach with a data-informed and continuous quality improvement focus. Through this framework, we are able to provide information regarding best practices for screening and evaluating trauma and resilience, best practices for implementing person-driven care, best practices for workforce development, evidence-informed trauma-specific services, improved organizational culture, and community outreach and partnership.

We walk alongside individuals, organizations, communities and systems through the journey to establish sustainable infrastructure and processes and embedding continuous quality improvement.

Do you want to develop skills to address trauma and nurture resilience?


National Council’s Seven Domains of Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Care

Domain 1 – Early Screening and Comprehensive Assessment

Develop and implement a respectful screening and assessment process that is routine, competently done, culturally relevant and sensitive.

Domain 2 – Consumer-driven Care and Services

Involve and engage people who are or have been recipients of our services to play numerous roles in our organization and meaningfully participate in planning, implementing and evaluating our improvement efforts.

Domain 3 – Trauma-informed, Educated and Responsive Workforce

Increase the awareness, knowledge and skills of the entire workforce to deliver services that are effective, efficient, timely, respectful and person-centered. Implement policies, procedures and practices that build and sustain a trauma-informed work force.

Domain 4 – Trauma-informed, Evidence-based and Emerging Best Practices

Increase awareness, knowledge and skills of the clinical workforce to deliver research-informed treatment services that address effects associated with trauma and honor the core principles of trauma-informed care.

Domain 5 – Safe and Secure Environments

Increase the awareness, knowledge and skills of the workforce to create safe, trusting and healing environments. Examine and change policies, procedures and practices that may unintentionally cause distress and may re-traumatize those we serve.

Domain 6 – Community Outreach and Partnership Building

Recognize that the people we serve are part of and affected by other systems, and assume a leadership role in educating and engaging partners in trauma-informed care.

Domain 7 – Ongoing Performance Improvement and Evaluation

Ensure a system is in place to measure performance in each domain. Track, analyze and review data to address challenges and/or reinforce progress.

Contact us to learn more about how the National Council’s Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Care Team can help transform your organization.


Expert Consulting Services

The National Council for Behavioral Health Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Care Team partners with individuals, organizations, systems and communities to provide training, technical assistance and coaching to advance trauma-informed, resilience-oriented approaches.

Individual consultation is focused on the development of trauma-informed, resilience-oriented supervisory and leadership approaches through assessment, education and coaching. Organizational, community or system consultation is focused on a Core Implementation Team (CIT) which is an organization’s primary change agent in the process of adopting and sustaining chosen practices reflected within the seven domains of trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care.

Our work concentrates on both trauma-informed, resilience-oriented actions for improvement and change management strategies using a design-thinking approach to ensure successful implementation and sustainability of the initiative, even when navigating crisis. Our approach includes staff education, development of organizational/community/system work processes and culture to address trauma and reduce impacts.

Our primary mechanisms for facilitating the transfer of knowledge and resources and providing support include face-to-face or virtual training, coaching calls, webinars, site visits, a dedicated listserv, a dedicated website and many tools and resources, including an organizational self-assessment and an implementation planning guide.

The National Council’s expert consultants are available for short-term and long-term consulting and training to help individuals, organizations, systems and communities build and implement a complete plan that will address board and leadership buy-in, workforce training, practice changes and guidelines, community awareness and outcome measures.

Our staff of nationally recognized experts is versed in all facets of trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care, each with specialized insight and experience in trauma-informed, resilience-oriented organizational approaches. Our consultants have developed an intimate understanding of how to assist organizations in managing their change dynamics and are skilled at providing training and technical assistance (TTA) that connects organizations to both the groundbreaking work going on across the country and broader policy changes occurring at the state and federal levels.

Consulting services are appropriate for a variety of organizations – behavioral health organizations, primary care agencies, hospitals, managed care organizations, social services organizations, public health departments, schools and entire communities.

We maintain a commitment to customization and tailor each engagement to the individual needs of the requesting agency. Our model can be scaled up or back depending on need, providing the flexibility to drill down into specific domains and sub-topics as well as employ a diverse array of TTA modalities.

Our experts work hands-on with your core implementation team. Contact us to learn more.


Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Approaches Organizational Consultation/Learning Communities

In partnership with the National Council, organizations can engage in either a one-organization TIROC consultation or a multi-organizational TIROC learning community to assess, develop and implement trauma-informed, resilience-oriented practices, policies, and procedures. During this one-year long initiative, organizations can learn to:

  • Develop and sustain a trauma-informed, resilient, educated and responsive workforce.
  • Improve or implement screening and assessment for trauma and resilience.
  • Increase client/youth/family engagement and involvement.
  • Provide emerging and evidence-based trauma-informed, resilience-oriented practices.
  • Create physically and psychologically safe and secure environments.
  • Engage and build trauma-informed, resilience-oriented community partnerships.
  • Address secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue among staff.
  • Develop tools to support organizational wellness.
  • Track performance improvement.

The TIROC consultation and learning community models address core topics across the National Council’s seven domains of trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care, a model which reflects commonly recognized aspects of a trauma-informed, resilience-oriented organization. The model is built on the following core tenets:

  • Safe, calm and secure environment with supportive care for staff and clients.
  • System-wide understanding of trauma prevalence, impact and trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care.
  • Cultural competence and cultural humility.
  • Client and staff voice, choice and self-advocacy.
  • Recovery, person-driven and trauma-specific services.
  • Healing, hopeful, honest, and trusting relationships.

For more information on pricing, tailoring a consulting service or to schedule a training, please contact us to learn more.

Participate in the 2021-2022 Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Approaches Learning Community. Applications are due by Friday, December 11 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Apply today.


Building Resilience for Individuals through Trauma Education (BRITE) Facilitator Training

This educational treatment program builds personal resilience by understanding the impact of stressful events and using that information to make informed decisions and progress toward personally meaningful goals. Ongoing consultation includes face-to-face training followed by consultation with executive management and Core Implementation Team.

Mental health practitioners, substance use counselors, peer specialists, residential counselors and other staff who facilitate groups can be trained to facilitate the BRITE curriculum at this one-day training for up to 30 participants.


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