At Swope Health, associates use trauma-informed care techniques to offer support and coping skills to help people who feel depressed, frightened, angry, helpless, overwhelmed or stressed.
“Trauma-informed care is an awareness that everyone experiences trauma in their lives, in some way or another,” said Laurie Cox, Director of Integrated Recovery Services. “We understand that trauma can take a variety of forms and can cause a variety of responses. We recognize how common trauma is and we know that anyone who’s experienced trauma needs support and understanding.”
We See Trauma
All too frequently, associates at Swope Health see clients facing trauma, involving physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate about one in seven children will experience abuse each year, and the number increases for children in lower socioeconomic status.
Additionally, the CDC notes that one in four women experiences domestic violence, and one in five women experiences rape.
Reactions to trauma can vary widely. Some people may withdraw or feel depressed while others may respond with anger or violence. Recognizing the range of reactions is part of understanding trauma and providing care, Laurie said.
“We are here to help you manage your mental health and learn good strong coping skills,” she said.
With that awareness, Swope Health has formed a team called the “Trauma Transformers” to use the techniques of trauma-informed care with the community and associates.
“We all need self-care,” said Carla Lee, Patient Community and Education Specialist and one of the Trauma Transformers leaders. “If we are not healthy mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually, we will not be able to help others be successful.”
To demonstrate self-care at Swope Health, the Trauma Transformers host periodic events and activities for associates. In May, the team sponsored a “Peaceful Pause” – relaxation stations set up to allow associates to take a break from their work to achieve a moment of peace and mindfulness. The event used color therapy, aromatherapy, play therapy and coloring stations for associates to explore. Associates also were treated to healthy snacks– reminders of the importance of physical health, too.
More than 70 associates took advantage of the peaceful pause, which featured soothing music and soft lighting during the two-hour event. Some wore colored sunglasses to experience differing energy levels while reading inspirational notes; others experimented with the sensations caused by a variety of aromatic oils.
“We want you to know that we care about you, and we want you to take care of yourself, too,” Carla said.
Every day, someone feels depressed, frightened, angry or helpless. Every day, Swope Health stands ready to offer assessments, treatment, support and coping skills. You can visit or call the Behavioral Health team at (816) 922-1070 for an appointment.