​At a glance

“Trauma-informed services do no harm i.e. they do not re-traumatise or blame victims for their efforts to manage their traumatic reactions, and they embrace a message of hope and optimism that recovery is possible. In trauma-informed services, trauma survivors are seen as unique individuals who have experienced extremely abnormal situations and have managed as best they could”. (Dr Cathy Kezelman)

Trauma-informed care is based on the understanding that:

  • a significant number of people living with mental health conditions have experienced trauma in their lives
  • trauma may be a factor for people in distress
  • the impact of trauma may be lifelong
  • trauma can impact the person, their emotions and relationships with others.

Trauma is defined by the impact that an experience has had on the individual rather than by the event itself.

- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition


 Core trauma-informed principles:

  • Safety – emotional as well as physical e.g. is the environment welcoming?
  • Trust – is the service sensitive to people’s needs?
  • Choice – do you provide opportunity for choice?
  • Collaboration – do you communicate a sense of ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing to’?
  • Empowerment – is empowering people a key focus?
  • Respect for Diversity – do you respect diversity in all its forms?
    (Blue Knot Foundation)

Trauma-informed approaches do not involve trying to distinguish “symptoms” from the impact of trauma – they recognise that “symptoms” are often responses to trauma.

- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition


Trauma-informed care factsheets and supporting recovery 

This webpage provides a series of fact sheets for an overview of trauma, its effects, and how to support someone who may have experienced trauma including childhood trauma and abuse including fact sheets in easy read format and in languages other than English.

Type: Website

Produced by: Blue Knot Foundation

Trauma-informed care in mental health services across NSW

This webpage provides an understanding of Trauma-informed care approaches and resources including a framework for those working in mental health services, people accessing support and those who support them.

Publication type: Website

Produced by: ACI

Recovery Oriented Language Guide
This guide contains a section on a trauma-informed recovery oriented approach.
Type: Guidance document
Length: 32 pages
Produced by: Mental Health Coordinating Council

Trauma-informed Care and Practice Organisational Toolkit (TICPOT)
For Managers - A quality improvement audit and implementation resource for developing a trauma-informed organisational and practice culture.
Type: Toolkit
Produced by: Mental Health Coordinating Council

Current as at: Wednesday 17 August 2022
Contact page owner: Mental Health