July 27, 2016

From Diane Yatchmenoff, Ph.D, Director, Trauma Informed Oregon

From Where I Sit

It is not easy to write a post this month, as every one of us reels from the events these past weeks in Louisiana, Minnesota, Dallas, again in Baton Rouge, and likely others by the time this is in your hands. I was called to jury duty this week, and I would like to say that it is ironic to be sitting here in the Multnomah County Courthouse thinking about trauma while watching a cheery movie about how the American jury process ensures fair and just treatment for all. But I can’t bring the pleasure of irony to bear on how this feels this week or about my intense disinclination to participate. I know this is shallow thinking. Crime is crime, the rule of law is important. But we (we white middle class educated Oregonians—and I grew up here so I am not throwing stones without feeling their sting) have been fed a load of malarkey about how the system works. I can remember a time when I was proud of our schools, our progressive politics, our values here in Oregon. Mostly now I am horrified at how thin that veneer has always been and how oblivious I was and still can be—to this day.

So it’s challenging to boast of all the good work that Trauma Informed Oregon has been doing these past couple of months and all the exciting things we’re hearing from our partners around the state. Yet that part is true too—including right here at the Multnomah County Courthouse—where presiding Judge Nan Waller is committed to judicial fairness and compassionate care for everyone who walks through the doors. I’ve see that in action as well, and it is making a difference.

At our end, we’re trying to keep pace with the rapidly rising tide and expanding scope of the movement towards trauma informed care, as more systems come to the table to ask for training or request guidance on how to incorporate an understanding of trauma into their day-to-day operations. This momentum is real, feels like significant change, and gives me hope. Since we’re limited in our capacity to respond directly, we’ve spent a lot of time this year developing and making available additional resources to offer assistance. And so, for what it’s worth, there are new things to see on our website.

New Trauma Informed Oregon Website Structure and Resources

The organizational resources section of the website now includes a Roadmap to Implementation and a set of considerations, suggestions, or recommendations for steps along the way. This month, we’ve also uploaded a version of the Standards of Practice for Trauma Informed Care that includes Definitions and Additional Resources to help in using the tool. These are downloadable and printable as well. In addition, the Crosswalk between the Standards of Practice and the 2015 Trauma Informed Services policy from the Oregon Health Authority is now also available online as well as downloadable. This version may be particularly helpful to those providing or responsible for behavioral health services that are funded through Medicaid or general fund dollars. Along with both of these, you will find new toolkits, tip sheets, information, and examples.

At Trauma Informed Oregon, we think these resources are all very cool, but we have absolutely no idea whether they will actually be useful for our partners and stakeholders.  It would be extremely helpful to have feedback, so please take a moment and check them out.  Send us comments, thoughts, or suggestions via info@traumainformedoregon.org.