In June of 2014, the Oregon Health Authority, Health Systems Division (formerly Addictions and Mental Health Division), contracted with Portland State University, in partnership with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and the Oregon Pediatric Society (OPS), to initiate a statewide collaboration to promote and sustain trauma informed care across child- and family-serving systems. In July of 2015, the scope of this collaboration was expanded to include adult serving behavioral health systems. Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) was created in recognition of the impact that adverse experiences in childhood have on long-term health outcomes and represents a commitment at the state level to promote prevention and to bring policies and practices into better alignment with the principles of trauma informed care.
Trauma Informed Oregon serves as a centralized source of information and resources and coordinates and provides training for healthcare and related systems. Trauma Informed Oregon works with state agencies, state and local providers, communities, family and youth organizations, and diverse constituents to bring many voices and perspectives to the table to learn from one another and to advocate for informed policies and practices to promote healing and support wellbeing for all of Oregon’s children, adults, and families. Get answers to commonly asked questions on our FAQs page.
Trauma Informed Oregon is a statewide collaborative aimed at preventing and ameliorating the impact of adverse experiences on children, adults, and families. Trauma Informed Oregon works in partnership with providers, individuals with lived experience, and families to promote and sustain trauma informed policies and practices across physical, mental, and behavioral health systems and to disseminate promising strategies to support wellness and resilience.
Complex and prolonged trauma can have profound effects on physical, mental and behavioral health outcomes across the lifespan. The publication of ACE research beginning in 1998 brought the impact of early childhood trauma into public awareness and resulted in greater national attention to supportive services needed by young children who have experienced adverse and traumatic events. More recently, promising practices have begun to emerge that promise to buffer children, adults and families from the effects of adverse experiences and to prevent their most negative consequences.
In Oregon, efforts to recognize and respond to the impact of trauma have emerged across multiple service systems. In 2006, the Addiction and Mental Health Division (then a part of the Department of Human Services) wrote the first state policy on trauma.
In 2012, the Children’s System Advisory Committee (CSAC, advisory to Addiction and Mental Health, AMH) identified the impact of trauma on children and youth with mental health challenges as a priority in its annual work plan. The resulting workgroup, composed of state leaders, providers, family members of children with emotional challenges and youth with lived experience in the mental health system, prepared and circulated a white paper on trauma informed care followed by a proposed state policy. The white paper and its recommendations were instrumental in the development of the state’s trauma informed care policy.
The advent of healthcare transformation and the integration of physical, mental and behavioral health in Oregon, provides a unique opportunity to change the way trauma and adverse childhood events are perceived and responded to by service providers and the public in general. To this end, TIO was initiated through the child mental health leadership of AMH and CSAC, and made possible by the vision of state legislators.
In addition to Portland State University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion framework that Trauma Informed Oregon adheres to, we would like to make commitments of our own using the anti-racist lens in our approach to trauma-informed care. This is a way to ensure that all other inequities and oppressions and their intersections are included in the work being done to aid in the healing of all marginalized groups.
We believe that when trauma informed care is done appropriately it will stand on the principles of equity bringing forth the possibility of healing and the inclusiveness of all identities. We acknowledge, with gratitude and appreciation, the native and indigenous land that we reside on through honoring the truth of the pain brought forth through colonization while being mindful of the pervasive and continuous traumas of the present. It is most important to acknowledge and honor the ancestors of this region. Because of the sacrifices they were forced to endure, we are able to be here with one another.
Trauma Informed Oregon works with all organizations and agencies to create systematic changes to alleviate and reduce the recurrence of trauma experienced from policies and procedures that perpetuate inequities. As a hub of trauma informed care, we seek to recognize historical and current disparities and for us to do this work effectively, we must first acknowledge that culturally specific organizations have been serving communities from a trauma informed lens for ages. Our mission is to elevate those voices and always strive to center people of color and marginalized populations within the state we are committed to serve. We believe that trauma informed care cannot occur authentically without the integration of equitable practices and the inclusion of all.
Click on the toggle box below to see some of the commitments we align with to prioritize the work of diversity and inclusion and their intersections with trauma informed care. These commitments are also an invitation of accountability to the communities we serve.
- We commit to providing spaces that are inclusive and welcoming of all identities.
- We commit to working towards legitimizing spaces meant for people of color and minorities.
- We commit to the uphill struggle of ensuring spaces are accessible and welcoming to the communities they are intended to serve.
Trustworthiness & Transparency
- We commit to starting and hosting open and clear dialogue.
- We commit to eliminating both blatant and subtle silencing of people of color and minorities, particularly through the forms of macroaggressions, microaggressions, oppressive policies and procedures, and the centering of whiteness in dominant culture.
- We commit to providing clear and honest disclosure of our procedures, practices, and products.
- We commit to the continuous gathering of knowledge and information and keeping current with the research as a means to instruct the creation or modifications of our training, materials, and products.
- We commit to creating opportunities for affinity work to take place as well as centering it as a driving force in directing the future work of Trauma Informed Oregon.
- We commit to promoting, elevating, and giving rightful recognition to the contributions and strides that people of color, culturally specific communities, and minorities have made in giving rise and advancing the work of trauma informed care.
Collaboration & Mutuality
- We commit to being informed and guided by culturally specific communities, recognizing that they are the experts in this work.
- We commit to stepping back, centering other experiences, or being an ally, when asked.
- We commit to continually asking the questions of “Who benefits?” and “Who is excluded?”, and to work towards bringing those identified to the forefront of the work that we do.
- We commit to the sharing of resources to groups that are embedded in equity work.
- We commit to the ongoing assessment, feedback, and involvement of all processes from the communities we serve.
Empowerment, Voice and Choice
- We commit to including and celebrating the voices of all identities.
- We commit to both the sharing of power and the giving up of power so that all feel heard and seen in the work of trauma informed care.
- We commit to the uplifting and elevating of the work being done in our state to dismantle oppression.
Cultural, Historical and Gender Issues
- We commit to the dismantling of systems, institutions, and historical practices of racism, misogyny, ageism, cis-heterosexism, classism, and ableism and the intersections of these inequities that are embedded in the policies of agencies and organizations in the social service industry.
- We commit to the inclusion of people of color and minorities when creating policies and procedures to prevent exclusion and inequitable processes.
- We commit to decentering whiteness in trauma informed care.
- We commit to centering leadership and inclusion of culturally specific organizations.
We are restructuring Trauma Informed Oregon’s Leadership Team to include a four-method approach. Because we want more diverse voices informing our work, we wanted to provide more than one way to be involved. The new format will include:
- Two – four webinars per year that are open to all.
- Continual feedback via the website/email/phone/discussion about what is happening at Trauma Informed Oregon and what you need.
- Focus groups.
- A steering committee to provide input and advice about what is needed in communities and identities represented by members.
We are looking for steering committee members. Our goal is to have representation from multiple systems, agencies, identities, and regions across the state. Click here for the application.
Oregon Trauma Advocates Coalition
Oregon Trauma Advocates Coalition (OTAC) is comprised of a core group of youth from around Oregon who are participating on a monthly youth council to develop trauma informed resources and tools, and give input to improve systems for youth at the local and state level. For youth to find out more information or to apply to OTAC, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ariana Brooks, Member, Milwaukie
Kenzie Butts, Member, West Linn
Caitlin Wentz, Chair, Milwaukie
Diana Marin Duran, Member, Portland
Desiree Bansile, Chair, Milwaukie
Marta Hanna, Member, Ontario
Andre Mena, Member, Portland
Jada Serrano, Member, Portland
Trauma Informed Oregon Collaborative
To support and strengthen the work of Trauma Informed Oregon, a broad group of stakeholders is being convened to represent the needs and interests of our constituents, including individuals with lived experience, youth and families, public and private partner systems, and providers across multiple service systems. To join the Collaborative fill out this form. If you have any questions contact us at email@example.com.
Trauma Informed Oregon Staff
Mandy Davis, PhD, LCSW, Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Ann Phillips, MSW, Director of Community Relations and Strategic Partnerships email@example.com
Ana Hristić, MA, LCSW, Director of Education & Workforce Strategies firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Sundborg, PhD, Director of Research and Evaluation email@example.com
Isha-Charlie McNeely, Outreach and Community Engagement Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Camilla Pettle, Operations and Fiscal Manager email@example.com
Moira Smith, Office Support firstname.lastname@example.org
Sky Lockhart, Student Intern email@example.com
Olive Wood, MSW Intern firstname.lastname@example.org