Why Do We Need Trauma Specific Services?
1. Trauma Has Long Lasting Effects
Many people hold the misconception that trauma ends when the traumatic event is over. However, trauma has long lasting effects, especially when someone doesn’t receive trauma specific services. Trauma can lead to addiction, mental illness, physical health issues, problems maintaining relationships, cognitive delays, self harm, etc. Many times, the symptoms of trauma are much more obvious than the trauma that caused them. Therefore, as a society we often treat the symptoms and not the cause. When we do this, it is not uncommon for those trauma symptoms to continuously reappear because we are not addressing the root cause of them, the actual trauma.
2. Trauma-Informed Care
We need professionals who are specifically trained to work with trauma survivors. Trauma-informed care means having professionals who understand the impact trauma has on its survivors. Professionals who work with trauma survivors need to provide a safe place for their clients and patients to heal. If someone is not trained to work with trauma survivors, they can at times cause more harm than good. They may trigger them by saying something insensitive, intruding their space, or reacting in a way that unintentionally hurts the survivor.
3. There are Countless Types of Trauma
As a society, we are really just starting to explore all the things we consider as traumatic. According to the dictionary, trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. What someone considers deeply distressing or disturbing may vary from someone else depending on what other life experiences each person has had. This is why we can’t compare traumas or minimize the trauma of anyone else. Trauma can be abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, or sexual assault. It can also be the death of a loved one, a car accident, having a family member who has a substance abuse disorder, suffering from a mental illness, having parents who are getting a divorce or watching a violent event. These examples are only a small portion of the countless types of trauma a person can experience.
4. Trauma Research
As we begin to develop more trauma specific services, we can delve into doing more research on the effects of trauma and effective forms of trauma recovery. Trauma recovery and trauma specific care is still a fairly new topic. We are just starting to explore the extent of future problems that trauma can lead to and some of the information is shocking. We are also just now starting to look into how someone who has suffered from long-term trauma or multiple traumas, may react differently to their experiences than someone who has experienced a single traumatic event. There is so much research that still needs to be done and part of this includes creating services. If we have trauma specific care, we can look at what we still need to learn about trauma and its effects. We can also start to look at different trauma specific treatments that may be more helpful than others. We still have so much to learn when it comes to trauma.
5. Trauma Recovery
As a country, we are severely lacking in the amount of trauma recovery centers we have. We have services for addiction, mental health, behavior issues, relationship counseling, etc. However, we lack trauma recovery services. We have countless services that address the traumatic event. Law enforcement, children services, fire departments, medical professionals, hotlines, shelters, etc., all of these are people and places we have to respond to a crisis/ traumatic event. Once the crisis is over though, the survivors are left to heal on their own. Trauma recovery centers focus on addressing not only the traumatic experiences, but the long lasting effects of those traumatic experiences. They understand that trauma recovery is a long term process and full of ups and downs. Trauma recovery centers focus on helping clients heal and be empowered as survivors. With more trauma specific services, we can help trauma survivors find recovery, healing, hope, and faith.