The Value of Trauma-Informed Care in Addressing the Impacts of COVID-19

Posted: 6/1/2020 8:00:00 AM by James Rodriguez, Ph.D., LCSW

Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) is an approach to care that recognizes how widespread trauma and toxic stress can be in society and the long-term and profound effects it can have on people across the lifespan.  The COVID-19 pandemic is a mass disaster event that underscores the need for TIC.  Everyone in our society can understand the stress and fear that comes from worries about catching or transmitting the disease and many people are also stressed by quarantine orders.  Having to work from home in isolation or learning how to balance family and work responsibilities during the pandemic can expose people to levels of stress that few people are accustomed to confronting. 

Of course, there are people experiencing more extreme forms of stress, including people who have survived contracting COVID-19, healthcare providers and first responders, people who have suffered the loss of a loved one and people who’ve lost jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.  Lastly, there are many vulnerable groups of people who are shouldering a greater burden than others, such as the poor, people of color, people with disabilities and those exposed domestic or intimate partner violence. 
A Trauma-Informed approach can help to meet the needs of many people impacted by this pandemic by providing an awareness of how stress and adversity affects us all and, more importantly, how to build upon our individual and collective capacities to be resilient; to cope with, recover, and heal in the face of adversity. 

The Community Technical Assistance Center (CTAC) of New York State is dedicated to offering providers resources that incorporate trauma informed and resilience building strategies to help during this pandemic.  You can access these resources by clicking  here.  In addition, you can register with the CTAC to receive announcements of upcoming events on related topics.  In the coming weeks we will have offerings and resources on critical topics ranging from crisis and safety planning with people experiencing suicidal ideation and domestic violence, Psychological First Aid to address the pressing needs of people who are overwhelmed by the crisis, and helping schools create trauma and resilience informed environments for children and youth. 

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