National Council for Behavioral Health

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You see trauma every day, but do you know its true toll? Trauma impacts every area of human functioning — physical, mental, behavioral, social and spiritual. It permeates the spaces where we play, live, and work, shaping how we engage with and deliver services. The connection between trauma and adverse effects to development, wellness and health across the lifespan isn’t just strong – it’s undeniable, affecting individuals, families, communities, and systems.

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

The economic costs of untreated trauma-related alcohol and addiction were estimated at $161 billion in 2000, but the human costs are incalculable. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, 55-99 percent of women in substance use disorder treatment and 85-95 percent of women in the public mental health system report a history of trauma, largely centered on childhood abuse.

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

National Council: Leading the Way in Trauma-informed Care

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

To better address trauma in primary care, Kaiser Permanente and the National Council launched the Trauma-Informed Care Primary Care: Fostering Resilience and Recovery initiative to develop, test, disseminate and scale a field-informed Change Package to integrate trauma-informed care into primary care. Our Trauma-Informed Brief Intervention Conversation Guide, empowers providers working at the intersection of trauma and substance use to provide an effective way to address trauma when discussing these concerns with their patients. We also joined forces with Aetna to strategically map out a sustainable and replicable model for Medicaid health plans.

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

Contact us to learn more about how the National Council’s Trauma Team can help transform your organization.

Expert Consulting Services

The National Council offers a full spectrum of custom consulting and training on trauma-informed integrated health, mental health and substance use care. Addressing trauma helps organizations improve the quality and impact of their behavioral health services, increase safety for all, enhance client engagement and avoid staff burnout and turnover.

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

Our staff of nationally recognized experts are versed in all facets of trauma-informed care, each with specialized insight and experience in trauma-informed 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 organization – 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 TA modalities.

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

Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented Approaches Learning Communities

Gain the necessary skills to assess, develop and implement trauma-informed practices, policies and procedures. This year-long initiative connects organizations with trauma experts and peer organizations. With in-person summits, a series of coaching calls, webinars and an online forum of peers and experts at their fingertips, participants develop the resources that respond to their needs and the needs of their communities.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Implement trauma-informed approaches throughout the organization.
  • Improve intake, screening and assessment for trauma and resilience.
  • Adopt trauma-informed, resilience-oriented best practices for clients.
  • Build resilience in the workforce to prevent secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue.
  • Make the community a safe environment where clients can heal and staff can thrive.

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

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.