Community Incident Response

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Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) remains OPEN during this pandemic–working from home and physical distancing–and we’re here to help you. As the COVID-19 crisis evolves and we move into new phases (reopening and re-engaging), we want to support your efforts. (Please see the video blogs from Mandy Davis, Director of TIO.) Using the trauma informed care (TIC) principles to guide our work, we have created COIVD-19 TIC strategies, workforce wellness strategies including video blogs, and various tip sheets to help you in your work.

These resources were initially created in response to COVID-19, but as we find ourselves navigating the important and emotional conversations about racial equity, they will help us apply a trauma informed lens to these efforts as well. How do I communicate in a trauma informed way? How do I create trust and transparency so that conversations can happen? How do I monitor my staff’s coping remotely? What should our work look like as we re-engage? Contact us with any questions you have, or resources or creative ideas you are using to promote resilience and mitigate toxic stress in these times.

square bulletCOVID-19 Video Blogs

square bulletTrauma Informed Care Resources for COVID-19

We are using the values, principles, and practices of trauma informed care (TIC) to help us navigate this time. This includes offering grace, empathy, support, kindness, and connection. This also means advocating for a lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to be applied to delivering needed services now and throughout the restore, repair, and recovery phase of COVID-19 as well as these challenging times.

It is important to recognize the multiple ways we are impacted including physical, economic, mental, spiritual, and social strains. It is the accumulation of these impacts that can challenge our best coping strategies and may require us to “double up” on caring for ourselves and others. Remember as you encounter others that regardless of a person’s daily disruptions everyone is feeling a sense of distress during this time.

Following are strategies and resources that apply directly to COVID-19 but also address all who are helping children, families, and communities cope with what is happening during these challenging times.

Trauma Informed Care Principles for COVID-19

Consider these principles as you think about what is best for you and your community.

  • Safety – How can you provide physical safety (e.g., access to essential services, safe spaces) but also emotional safety (e.g., someone is looking out for me).
  • Consistency – In what ways can you promote consistency even as things are ever changing. For example, getting up at the same time even if you are not going to work, school, or services. Developing a routine/daily schedule for students at home.
  • Transparency – How can you provide clear, direct, and accurate information and keep this updated? Consider offering multiple ways of information sharing (e.g., websites, videos with closed caption, twitter, email, flyers, etc.) and in multiple languages.
  • Peer Support – How can you support each other in this response? Using technology to check in on how colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors are doing as well as sharing your ideas for coping. Join online groups that are supporting neighbors.
  • Collaboration– How are your strategies including those impacted? Are communities included in the decisions and kept up to date?
  • Culturally Responsive– Are you considering the cultural strengths and needs of the community as you plan responses? Who has and does not have access to resources?

Learn ways to implement responses to COVID-19 that are trauma informed in our resource Considerations for a Trauma Informed Response for Work Settings:

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Community Related

  • Leave flyers at neighbors' houses about resources or contact information if you are willing.
  • Support healthcare workers you know – deliver meals, offer to walk pets, watch children, etc.
  • Offer to shop for people who need to stay home.
  • Offer to call to check on someone who is home bound for emotional support.
  • Start a text group for when someone is going to the store to see what is needed.
  • Offer to teach remotely about how to use technology to stay connected.
  • Search terms such as mutual aid and COVID-19 in your area. Groups are popping up to offer support such as this Facebook group pdxcovid19mutualaid; Instagram:@pdxcovid19mutualaid

Resource List

Other Resources:


  • Develop a routine with your students for what the day will look like. Incorporate online lessons or ask for worksheets from your school or community.
  • Offer support through technology to other caregivers. This can be emotional support by sharing experiences or sharing updated information.
  • Consider ways to pool resources and offer support via social media.
  • Offer to send videos with lessons or activities, or offer to teach remotely about how to use technology.
  • Acknowledge feelings of worry and disappointment in events missed.
  • If you have a child with specific needs, ask what supports the school can offer during this time.
  • Offer to pick up groceries for caregivers if you have the bandwidth.

Resource List

Spanish Language

These handouts and flyers in Spanish cover mental health, toxic stress and COVID related issues (some are more general). Please note the brochure regarding stress and the Holidays (Salud emocional en Fiestas) has two versions (online version and printing version; same information, different format).

Resource List

Safety Planning

It is not always safe for people in their homes. There may be environmental hazards or unsafe people in homes. Please reach out if you feel unsafe in your home.

Resource List

School Related

  • Share short videos, made by staff, with students to show them they are OK if they are out sick or if school is closed.
  • Provide a routine for students to follow at school or home.
  • Remember movement and mindfulness activities help regulate our emotions and bodies.
  • Provide words for younger children to communicate about this.
  • Keep an open list of questions – offer your own questions in case students are nervous to ask.
  • Make the information relevant for the age and developmental level of your audience.
  • Discuss resources for families who have needs in the event schools are closed.
  • With consent, share contact information so folks can stay in touch and updated.
  • Offer to make video lessons for at home learning.
  • Offer any techniques you recommend parents/caregivers repeat at home. This may be specific to student with particular learning needs.

Resource List