Trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Inequality
Childhood adversity and the impact of trauma can have profound and long-lasting consequences on our health, wellbeing and opportunities in life.
A high percentage of people who use mental health services have experienced trauma. In their design and delivery, health services must reflect this trauma awareness and the prevalence of traumatic events as well as the different ways that this can affect people. Sometimes this trauma is a result of or compounded by using a mental health service, such as being restrained or detained or having little or no choice or control over the care.
At the same time, people who work in public services can be traumatised by the experiences they hear, witness and are exposed to at work, or come with their own history of adversity, trauma and abuse. These experiences can be compounded by poor leadership, NHS underfunding and the political and social landscape.
A Trauma Informed Organisation must ensure that policies, procedures and support structures available recognise this potential for trauma in our staff and carers, as well as those who use our services. This approach enables staff to look after themselves and in doing so, model a trauma informed approach in their own work or caring roles.
With the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, never has there been more acute focus and public understanding of the huge impact of trauma and inequality and the collective response needed to urgently and actively address this.