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Providing Trauma-Informed Response During COVID-19

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Providing Trauma-Informed Response During COVID-19

As our nation copes with the COVID-19 outbreak, we are experiencing a collective trauma that impacts how many of us think, feel, and act. During times of crisis and isolation, many people will face heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. This can be especially difficult for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who are already dealing with the aftermath of their individual traumas and violence histories.

Following are tips for professionals seeking to provide trauma-informed interactions with the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are also great reminders for everyone in how to be kind, caring and supportive to those we encounter, now and always.

Be Mindful of Each Person’s Unique Experience

Remember that different things may be triggering for each person. Although you can use this shared experience as a connecting point, understand that each person will be approaching this moment through the lens of their own histories. For some survivors social distancing may be a reminder of the isolation they experienced during their abusive relationships. If you’re concerned that the outbreak may be bringing out someone’s past traumas, provide referrals to their local domestic violence or sexual assault response organization. You can also direct them to Safe+Sound Somerset’s 24/7 call or text hotline – 866-685-1122.

Access to Resources May be Limited

Not being able to access certain services, retail stores, or activities may limit a survivor’s established self-care practices and safety planning strategies. Work with them to find new ways to relax, cope, and de-stress. Direct them to their local domestic violence organization who can help create or adjust safety plans.

Be Understanding

Trauma survivors may have difficulty completing tasks or jobs, ask how you can support them as they navigate this crisis. Symptoms of psychological trauma include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and feelings of guilt or hopelessness.

Remember that Trauma-Informed Care is Based on Safety, Collaboration, Trust, and Empowerment

If you have to make changes to your services or a client’s treatment plan, be as open and transparent as possible. Explain why changes are happening, clearly communicate next steps, and if necessary ensure alternate services.

Be Sure to Take Care of Yourself and Manage Your Own Anxieties During This Time

Find time to connect with loved ones, incorporate mindfulness exercises throughout your day, think of things to be grateful for every day. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to be fully present in your interactions with clients.


See also: Practicing Mindfulness During COVID-19

Reach Out

S+SS’s trained trauma professionals are available to support you and your clients. We can help you navigate this complex time in a trauma-informed way.

The S+SS call and text hotline will remain available 24/7 at 866-685-1122, as we navigate the changes surrounding the pandemic, and later as things return to their normal. Do not hesitate to call or text repeatedly if needed. The statewide hotline is also available at 1-800-572-SAFE (7233). Additional information is available to survivors at