Injury (also known as trauma) is the leading cause of death in the United States for people under 45 years of age; each day, more than 170,000 men, women, and children are injured severely enough to seek medical care. About 400 of these people will die, and another 200 will sustain long-term disability as a result of their injuries. Experts estimate that many injury-related deaths could be prevented if a minimum-standard of trauma care were available to all Americans.
Trauma informed care is grounded in and directed by a thorough understanding of the neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma and the prevalence of these experiences in persons who seek and receive mental health services. It takes into account knowledge about trauma — its impact, interpersonal dynamic, and paths to recovery — and incorporates this knowledge into all aspects of service delivery. Trauma informed care also recognizes that traditional service approaches can re-traumatize consumers and family members. Additionally, trauma informed care is a person-centered response focused on improving an individuals’ all around wellness rather than simply treating symptoms of mental illness.