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Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma (Washington, DC)

It is critical that people learn about the intersection of trauma, mental health challenges, and substance use and how they will impact women and girls and their families and communities and overall well-being. Representatives from more than three dozen federal agencies have gotten together to focus on this issue and to develop collective strategies to address its impact. This webinar held May 29, 2014 aimed to address: "the historical context of the intersection of mental health substance abuse and trauma; review current research of the problems of trauma and adverse experiences, and the impacts of that on women and girls; highlight two evidence-based practices of seeking safety in the trauma resolution center; and the core components of a trauma-informed approach when focusing on these intersections". The presentations given during this webinar are: "SAMHSA's Women and Violence Study Trauma Services in Public Mental Health [WCDVS]" by Susan Salasin; "Adverse Childhood Experiences: Impacts on Health & Wellbeing across the Life Course" by Melissa Merrick; "Seeking Safety: An Evidence-Based Model for Trauma and/or Addiction" by Lisa M. Najavits; and "If It Works in Miami…a Model Program for Serving Traumatized Human Beings" by Teresa Descilo.

Addressing the Intersection of Trauma, Mental Health Challenges, and Substance Use Cover

“In the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that addressing trauma requires a multi-agency, multi-pronged approach. Public education, prevention, early identification, and effective trauma assessment and treatment are all necessary to break the cycle of trauma and violence. Significant progress has been made in creating organizational cultures based on knowledge of trauma and its impact (“trauma-informed approaches”), strategies to prevent or reduce rates of violence and trauma, and effective treatment interventions (“trauma-specific treatments”). Trauma-informed approaches are particularly suited to collaborative strategies because they transcend traditional organizational boundaries and professional roles, providing a common framework for working together. This document reflects how the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma’s efforts to promote, adopt, and implement trauma-informed approaches have enhanced the effectiveness of a wide range of government services and supports. It also demonstrates the impact of the Committee’s coordinated cross-agency efforts” (p. 7-8). The twenty-four U.S. federal groups are from the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Education (ED), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the Peace Corps, and the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Trauma-Informed Approaches: Federal Activities and Initiatives: A Working Document, Second Report Cover
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