Method of Care
The Impact of Trauma
New Visions understands that no one is immune to the impact of trauma. Trauma affects the individual, families, and communities by disrupting healthy development, adversely affecting relationships, and contributing to mental health issues including substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse. Everyone pays the price when a community produces multiple generations of people with untreated trauma through an increase in crime, loss of wages, and threat to the stability of the family.
The impact of traumatic stress can be devastating and long-lasting, interfering with a person’s sense of safety, ability to self-regulate, sense of self, perception of control and self-efficacy, and interpersonal relationships. Some people have minimal symptoms after trauma exposure or recover quickly, while others may develop more significant and longer-lasting problems such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Trauma.
An example of trauma includes Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs are traumatic childhood events that include abuse and neglect, in addition to witnessing experiences like crime, parental conflict, mental illness and substance abuse. People who have experienced a high number of ACEs are prone to risky behaviors, a lower quality of life, a shorter life expectancy and have an elevated risk for future homelessness (Center for Disease Control). The ongoing ACEs Study conducted by the Center for Disease Control concluded that out of a selection of 17,000 people, only 12.4%, had an ACEs score of four or higher.
The MACCH Point in Time Count states that more than 1,389 individuals are living on the streets, in shelters, or in transitional living situations. Many of these individuals are facing mental illness, addiction, and a lifetime of trauma. An example of this is represented in the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) survey provided to residents of New Visions Homeless Services. During a 12-month period, 60% of Veterans receiving services reported an ACEs score of 4 or higher.
Trauma Informed Care
In response to the trauma our clients have experienced, New Visions practices Trauma Informed Care (TIC). TIC is an evidence-based framework model that focuses on organizational/community structure and treatment. The model centers around understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma on people. Additionally, TIC emphasizes physical, emotional, and psychological safety for both consumers and providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment. TIC is a transformational shift in how human service agencies serve their consumers. It meets individuals where they are in that moment, free from judgement. Trauma-informed staff are better equipped to serve consumers through an understanding of past trauma, the impact it can have on behavior and decisions, and how to enrich someone’s life while avoiding re-traumatization.
TIC emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both consumers and providers, and helps survivors trust and engage with providers and rebuild a sense of control and empowerment. TIC training and implementation involves in-depth learning to explore the instances that contribute to the complexity of traumatic exposure, resulting in reactions and resistance, and the downstream development of survival behaviors. Attention is given to how we, as individuals and as a society, sanction and reward consumers over the course of their life and how our society is dependent on the “mentalist model” of human experience.
The result is a direct response to “under the line” issues that builds trust, hope, and resources for the future.