Just one day after the third anniversary of the UCC mass shooting, the state on Oct. 2 held an all-day Trauma Informed Care Training and Community Forum in the Lang Center on campus.
Host Mandy Davis, the director for Trauma Informed Oregon, engaged 130 people in a conversation about recognizing the widespread impact of trauma on Oregonians and how to better care for those who have experienced trauma.

Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) is a statewide collaborative working to prevent or reduce the impact of traumatic experiences on children, adults, and families. TIO also advocates for informed policies and practices, providing training on the profound effects that prolonged trauma can have on physical, mental and behavioral health across the lifespan of an individual.

TIO works with state and local agencies and providers, youth organizations and families to promote healing and support well being for all Oregonians by improving their recognition of trauma and response to trauma’s impact. The state’s Trauma Informed Care agency (TIO) recognizes that trauma experiences terrify, overwhelm and violate the individual. TIO has a commitment to help Oregonians avoid repeating these trauma experiences and, in whatever way possible, to help citizens restore a sense of safety, power and build self-worth.

Several of those spearheading the TIO movement, including Marcia Hall and Trauma Informed Oregon, have extended the typical concept of “trauma” to include domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health, trauma experienced by veterans and the elderly, and even trauma-related issues treated by primary care physicians.

Mandy Davis presented her agency’s instrumental Framework for Action model that organizes the state’s current workflow of efforts to improve trauma care: Centralized Resources and Community Building to Training and Education; Policy and Investment to Implementation and Accountability. Her agency also offers a Trauma Informed Care Screening Tool that encompasses each of these four phases: Phase One is information about becoming Trauma Aware, Phase Two is information about becoming Trauma Sensitive, Phase Three is information about becoming Trauma Responsive and then Phase Four is about becoming Trauma Informed.

For the state to transition into a true Trauma Informed Care culture, changes to policy and practice will have to be made and documented with evaluation if the impact of TIC is helpful.
The event sponsors included TIO partnership agencies: Portland State University, Oregon Health Authority (funds TIO), OHSU, and Oregon Pediatric Society (OPS). Creating Community Resilience (CCR) leaders were also in attendance. CCR is a collaborative initiative providing regional leadership in building Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) awareness, community resilience, and trauma-informed (TI) capacities throughout Douglas County. The work they have underway includes trainings, particularly on ACEs, a Sanctuary Model TI implementation (currently Phoenix School, Cow Creek Health and Wellness Centers and Battered Persons’ Advocacy are part of this project), and Cross Sector Collaboration.

Marcia Hall, PhD, who has been working forty years in this field in Douglas County, has witnessed countless changes in the community and continues to help drive home the importance of ACEs training as part of the Trauma Informed Care movement. The goal is a culture that raises the standards of care.

Hall encourages community involvement in improving community trauma care. She says, “A lot of small actions can result in significant change!” This is a community health issue that requires a community response.

Mandy Davis encouraged the audience to remember that, “Trauma Informed Care is a new movement, not a complete culture yet, and we should honor and own that complexity and messiness by remaining dynamic and up-to-date on TIC and to be cognizant yet patient.” She closed the forum by bringing the group up to speed about where Trauma Informed Oregon is headed. She mentions that in addition to increasing online training, train-the-trainer opportunities will soon be made available; and listening group campaigns are in the works to better identify what is helping or hindering.