October 4, 2018

From Beckie Child, Adult Service Coordinator and Mental Health Advocate, Trauma Informed Oregon

Never did I think a blog entry could be so hard to write . . . It’s just a few paragraphs. It’s not an article . . . it’s not a book . . . It’s not a dissertation . . .

and then the political world ever so rudely trampled into my blog writing and reignited many of my own trauma issues. Suddenly the difficulties of emotional regulation were front and center and interrupting my work, my thinking, my writing . . . even a few short paragraphs.

My heart goes out to all of those for whom the political world so rudely trampled into their lives and reignited those old and not so old traumas. Some of the things I’ve been telling myself is “one foot in front the other,” “It’s not your fault!” and “Go gently with you.” I share these things because it helps sometimes to know that other people struggle too.

Back to the blog entry…

Beckie feeding carrots to Rojo the Llama.

I’ve been working for Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) for a little over three years, now. I love the community education that TIO provides to people around the state. I’ve worried for some time that the information provided to primarily service providers around the state isn’t being shared with people who use services. When I talk to people who use mental health and addiction services, I still hear too many people talking who seem to have no understanding of how their body responds to trauma, chronic stress, and what to do about it.

In response, I developed a training to inform people who use services about how trauma impacts their body. As I worked through the content and materials for training, I realized (with the help and feedback from others) that I had too much content for the training. I broke the training into parts. There will eventually be a Trauma 101 training for people who use services that is similar to the Foundations of Trauma Informed Care training, but specifically addresses the people who use mental health and addiction services.

Part II of the training Supporting Each Other and Ourselves is designed for people who provide peer recovery and support services and peer wellness services. This past July, thank you in part to Ally Linfoot, Peer Services Coordinator in Clackamas County, we piloted Supporting Each Other and Ourselves with 55 people who provide peer support services around the state in a variety of organizations. The training was well received according to the evaluations we received. We received 37 of 55 evaluations. We reviewed the feedback and will use it in future trainings. We have made the slides available for your reference and use.

We used a handout at the training on things to help people re-regulate themselves when they experience a traumatic response. We attached it here . . . however, we had a generous offer from some of our partners to help make it better so we will give you the old version for now and we’ll let you know when the new version is available.

See this was not all that hard of a task but it has taken me several weeks to complete this short piece of writing. The impact of trauma is real! Go gently with yourselves!