Trauma-Informed Communities

Establishing and integrating a trauma-informed approach to addressing mental and substance use disorders is important not only for individuals, but for communities as well. To further this goal, SAMHSA recently published Spotlight: Building Resilient and Trauma-Informed Communities, a series that highlights efforts underway in six different cities across the United States to build trauma-informed, resilient communities.

SAMHSA defines a trauma-informed approach as one where people realize the prevalence of trauma, recognize the impact and responses to trauma, and resist practices that could cause more harm.


In Kansas City, MO, advocates for trauma-informed care organized Trauma Matters KC (TMKC), bringing together 40 organizations to address social and economic challenges. The Spotlight describes their collective action to build resilience and to address special needs. For example, in the Kansas City Trauma Sensitive Schools, children and teachers create their own self-care plans as a tool for managing stress or distress during the day.

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