The “4 R’s” and Workforce Wellness
Utilizing SAMHSA’s definition of trauma informed care (TIC), we are reminded about the importance of the 4 R’s, not just with regard to the service users/students/clients/patients, but also with regard to the workforce. To be trauma informed (TI), we must realize the widespread impact of trauma on the workforce, by informing our policies and procedures through the trauma lens, and resist retraumatization of our workforce. In our work, Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) often underscores that workforce wellness is a critical medium of TIC implementation, and this remains equally true during a crisis.
- a weekly video blog about aspects of wellness that could be examined through the trauma and toxic stress lens, and
- accompanying resources for strategies helpful to navigating wellness through the intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational levels
Please remember that TIC is not necessarily therapeutic in nature – such that its main function is not intended to alleviate the symptomatology of toxic stress, but instead is intended to inform practice, procedure, and policy. So too, the resources and recommendations we share here are not intended to be substitutes for healing modalities and trauma specific healing services, including traditional healing practices and ceremony, body work, therapeutic work, and peer recovery to name a few.
Organizational Considerations for Trauma Informed Workforce Wellness, Especially at a Time of Incident Response*
- Physical, social, emotional, and “professional” wellness remain critical, and policies/procedures may support or hinder individual and relational practices that maintain these forms of wellbeing
- Centering workforce equity, inclusion and access, in decisions and communications about change in practice or procedure promotes value and belonging
- When/wherever possible, incorporating feedback from the workforce, and keeping a pulse on wellbeing, honors their lived experience, voice and power
- Uplifting and supporting resilience and strength factors of the workforce, empowers their sense of agency and wellbeing
*TIC is about preventing and mitigating toxic stress, and building resilience to best respond to and restore from times of adversity. To that end, considerations and strategies related to workforce wellness are applicable at all times – during time of prevention, intervention and postvention of a crisis.