Trauma-Informed & Resilient Communities: A Primer for Public Health Practitioners

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There is growing consensus across disciplines on the severe physical and mental health effects of trauma. Unfortunately, exposure to potentially traumatic experiences is common. In New York State, an estimated 60% of adults have experienced at least one adverse, or potentially traumatic, event. Of these, nearly 70% had exposure to violence1 .

Despite the prevalence of traumatic experiences and knowledge about their link to poor health, much of current practice in physical and behavioral health and social services does not take a trauma-informed approach. Yet we know that there are evidence-based interventions and universal approaches to deal with trauma, build resiliency, and prevent re-traumatization.

Public health practitioners are critical players in promoting the diffusion of trauma-informed and trauma-specific programs and practices because of several unique assets. These include:

• Expertise in data and surveillance

• Interaction with at risk populations

• Focus on prevention and harm reduction and evidence based intitiatives

This resource is intended to help public health, medical, educators and other social service professionals to better understand trauma, its connections to health, and the strategies that can be used to promote healing and resilience at the community level.

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