I just returned from the NAMI California annual conference in Irvine, CA. There were a number of speakers on different topics and one of my favorite was a presentation called Becoming Trauma Informed by Gabriella Grant. And NAMI has put some of the tools from the presentations on their website and I will post the links below.
So I’m going to cover some of the points I wrote down that are in the full power point presentation, is case you want a preview or don’t want to read it all.
She gives a broad definition of Trauma: An event or circumstance that overwhelmed a person’s ability to cope with the situation, decreasing the sense of safety.
She gives a few examples of things that cause trauma: Interpersonal trauma (such as abuse or assault), life-altering illness, institutionalization/incarceration/ or other loss of freedom, discrimination/stigma/ostracism, or natural disaster.
There is a list of rates of co-occurring disorders with PTSD and trauma relating to Serious Mental Illness (commonly refereed to in the presentation as SMI) one interesting statistic is that 91-98% or people with Bipolar or schizophrenia experience trauma.
One of the most interesting things I got out of the presentation was about ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) which she speaks of having to do with suicide attempts, drug/alcohol abuse, lower mortality, depression, and impaired childhood memory (their are graphs and/or tables on this in the power point.) Pretty much the more ACEs you experienced the more likely you will deal with the things I just mentioned earlier. Some examples of ACEs are: one or no parents, emotional or physical neglect, abuse, an alcohol or drug abuser in the house. The full link to the questionnaire can be found from the link to the main NAMI presentation page, link is provided below. I would strongly suggest checking this out. My ACE score was 6
There is also an excellent slide about how adverse childhood experiences effect your development with a pyramid graphic. I’ll list them from the bottom up meaning, each one can effect the next and so on, they build on each other: Adverse Childhood Experiences; Disrupted Neurodevelopment; Social, emotional, cognitive impairments; Adoption of health-risk behaviors; disease, disability, socail problems; early death.
Some of the health-risk behaviors we came up with (not in the presentation): Isolation, Eating issues (anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders), drug/alcohol use/abuse, gang affiliation, unable to maintain responsibility such as relationships or employment, gambling, negative self-talk, self injury.
Here is an excellent link on coping skills: http://www.namicalifornia.org/uploads/eng/safe%20coping%20skills.pdf
Here is the complete power point presentation: http://www.namicalifornia.org/uploads/eng/nami%20trauma%20.pdf
And here is a main link to the presentations in the conference: http://www.namicalifornia.org/annual-conference.php?page=fingertips&lang=eng NOTE: not all the links work, maybe they aren’t all uploaded yet, I don’t know. But you can find the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Questionnaire that is mentioned in the presentation in English and Spanish.