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Trauma Informed Approach

Health & Wellbeing

Our mission isn’t just about physical health and wellbeing. We’re on a mission to improve mental and social wellbeing too, through the power of sport, physical activity and education.

We’re proud to have held a Trauma Informed training session for our team earlier this year, which was taught by Kati Dawkins, Junior Head of School at Riders Federation in Portsmouth. This session was eye opening, informative but most of all inspiring. We feel it’s our duty to help raise awareness with our audiences on what being Trauma Informed means, and why we should all invest in further training for the benefit of children’s overall wellbeing and future.

Kati’s knowledge, passion and expertise has helped to shape the content of this blog, and we can’t wait to receive further training with her in the future.

What does it mean to be Trauma Informed?

Being a Trauma Informed company or school means you believe in seeing beyond the challenging behaviours that children can present.  You will offer provision that supports vulnerable and traumatised children, to help them heal and trust adults over time.

What are the benefits of being Trauma Informed?

Knowledge of ACES, toxic stress and general stress responses allows staff to make informed decisions around how to best respond to a child. Being trauma informed means you understand how to use empathic listening skills to fully relate to a traumatised child, and how to help them reflect on their situation. As emotionally available adults who understand the neuroscience of trauma, you will have relational skills to empower and inspire young children. Genuine and trusting relationships will drive all interactions, resulting in children who begin to adapt their behaviour over time. They have the chance to build new brain pathways Staff will use PACE strategies to help relate to children who can’t regulate their emotions and will allow you to make specific responses to meet their needs.

Why do we need more Trauma Informed Companies and Schools?

‘Rising numbers of children are presenting with mental health difficulties in schools and current teaching environments are struggling to keep up. Many children have a high ACE score (meaning multiple adverse childhood experiences) known to leave children at risk of mental and physical ill-health later in life and even early death’ (The ACE study Felitti and Anda, a study involving over 17,000 people). 

It’s essential that key staff can respond effectively to mild to moderate mental health problems amongst children. The government Green Paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’ (December 2017) wants a Mental Health Lead in every school (trained member of school staff) and their research found that appropriately trained teachers /teaching assistants can achieve results comparable to those of trained therapists.

“There is evidence that appropriately trained and supported staff such as teachers, school nurses, counsellors, and teaching assistants can achieve results comparable to those achieved by trained therapists in delivering a number of interventions addressing mild to moderate mental health problems (such as anxiety, conduct disorder, substance use disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder)”. 

  • The government Green Paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’ (December 2017)

Interested in being a trauma informed school? Visit the official website to find out more: Trauma Informed Schools UK.

Or are you interested in learning more about the trauma informed approach, attend our 360 Health & Wellbeing Conference, in November.