Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and Bridging the Gap

Becoming a Trauma Informed Organisation

Becoming a Trauma Informed Organisation

Last year, we made the decision to work towards becoming a trauma informed organisation.

For Inspire North, becoming trauma-informed is to recognise the widespread impact of trauma, stress, and adversity by viewing all aspects of our organisation through a trauma-informed lens. We aim to integrate, embed, and infuse knowledge about trauma into all areas of Inspire North, including policies, procedures, language, culture, practices, and settings.

Watch our short video to hear from our Director of Operations Michelle De Souza about what becoming trauma informed means for us:

What is trauma?

It is estimated that 50-70% of people will experience a trauma at some point in their life, according to PTSDUK. Often, trauma is understood as the result of quite an extreme experience, this could be experience of abuse or witnessing something terrible happening to another person. It is common to think of post-traumatic stress disorder when we are discussing trauma.

According to MIND, trauma can be going through stressful, frightening or distressing events. Sometimes how we are affected by our experiences or situations that we may find traumatic can be described as physical or emotional trauma. We all have different reactions to trauma and traumatic events can happen at any age, sometimes causing long-lasting harm. We may notice the effects of trauma immediately, or a long time afterwards.

At Inspire North, our approach and understanding are to see trauma as something that can be caused by systems in society. This can include the ways in which society may oppress some groups, for example, through homophobia, racism, or disability oppression. We understand that how someone is made to feel can retraumatise or trigger distress in people.

How are we becoming trauma informed?

This project will take a systems approach to trauma, allowing us to assess all areas of the organisations processes, policies, growth, and operations generally against trauma informed standards and criteria.

We are currently piloting self-assessments across the organisation to understand what we are currently doing and what else we need to do to become a trauma informed organisation.

Once the pilot scheme has been completed, the self-assessment tool will be rolled out organisation wide.

We have also onboarded dedicated Trauma Informed Champions within services to regularly review, update and discuss our progress.

How will becoming a trauma informed organisation benefit the organisation?

This is a hugely beneficial project for both our clients and colleagues and will focus on being sensitive to the needs of individuals.

Some important ways that the project will benefit the Inspire North group are:

  • Improved physical spaces (Offices, support buildings and housing)
  • Better support process for the whole client journey in services
  • Improved coproduction and involvement opportunities for clients
  • Inter-agency collaboration and healthier wider systems
  • Revising organisational policies as required
  • We will make employee experience & wellbeing a priority, considering things like vicarious trauma
  • Training, support and resources will be available for colleagues and clients
  • All of this will feed into bids and tender process, allowing us to expand and support more people

We will also be sharing tips for being a trauma informed organisation on our social media over the next few weeks. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @InspireNorth to stay updated!

We recognise the winter months come with stressors and be a lonely time, or a time of loss and trauma. Feelings of uncertainty and unrest have also been exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis.