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Trauma-Informed Care and Practice: a national strategic direction

We can now connect the psychobiology of trauma to the social determinants of health. Never before have we had an integrative framework that allows extensive and specialised bodies of knowledge to be connected to each other within a human rights context as well as a public health challenge.

Bloom, S & Farragher, B 2013,
 Restoring Sanctuary: A new operating system for trauma informed systems of care,
Oxford University Press

MHCC’s paper: Trauma-Informed Care and Practice: Towards a cultural shift in policy reform across mental health and human services in Australia, A National Strategic Direction, presents the deliberations of the National Trauma-Informed Care and Practice Advisory Working Group. It demonstrates the importance of trauma-informed care and practice principles and an approach to service delivery across mental health and human services in Australia.

The paper points to evidence around the need, process and benefits of broad-based policy reform and a national approach to trauma-informed care and practice. All recommendations made are informed by national and international experience, evidence and research. A TICP approach requires national integrated action supported by government, with bipartisan support, and by a diversity of health and human systems, sectors and jurisdictions. It is a broad-based agenda that is key to ensuring improved outcomes for large numbers of Australians the system has failed.

This paper also provides a platform from which MHCC and the Blue Knot Foundation (previously ASCA) advocate broad-based policy reform across jurisdictions and sectors: in organisations, agencies, services and programs professional practice. It describes the need for a national approach to 'Trauma-Informed Care and Practice' where an understanding of the relationship between trauma and poor mental and physical health is inherent. TICP is a timely and well-targeted reform agenda in the context of dynamic changes to the service system environment in Australia; including the introduction of the NDIS, Partners in Recovery (PIR) and more recently the establishment of the Primary Health Networks (PHN).

The paper incorporates specific recommendations to progress a strategic approach to policy reform in Australia. For more information about this paper and the ongoing work that MHCC and the Blue Knot Foundation (previously ASCA) undertake, please contact Corinne Henderson, Senior Policy Advisor, MHCC at corinne@mhcc.org.au

TICP National Strategic Directions

Click here to download the the MHCC 2013, Trauma-Informed Care and Practice: Towards a cultural shift in policy reform across mental health and human services in Australia, A National Strategic Direction,  Authors: Bateman, J & Henderson, C (MHCC) Kezelman, C (ASCA)