February 26, 2018 began a journey of the recognition by the United States House of Representatives that trauma-informed care should be a part of the fabric in any system of care in America.
This historic culmination has been in process since July, 2017, and has reached a point of positive vote. This resolution was sponsored by Representative Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin and passed.
Here is part of the resolution:
H. Res. 443
In the House of Representatives, U. S., February 26, 2018.
Whereas traumatic experiences affect millions of people in the United States and can affect a person’s mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, economic, and social well-being;
Whereas adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can be traumatizing and, if not recognized, can affect health across the lifespan and, in some cases, result in a shortened life span;
Whereas ACEs are recognized as a proxy for toxic stress, which can affect brain development and can cause a lifetime of physical, mental, and social challenges;
Whereas ACEs and trauma are determinants of public health problems in the United States such as obesity, addiction, and serious mental illness;
Whereas trauma-informed care is an approach that can bring greater understanding and more effective ways to support and serve children, adults, families, and communities affected by trauma;
Whereas trauma-informed care is not a therapy or an intervention, but a principle-based, culture-change process aimed at recognizing strengths and resiliency as well as helping people who have experienced trauma to overcome those issues in order to lead healthy and positive lives;
Whereas adopting trauma-informed approaches in workplaces, communities, and government programs can aid in preventing mental, emotional, physical, and/or social issues for people impacted by toxic stress and/or trauma; …………………..
Whereas the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides substantial resources to better engage individuals and communities across the United States to implement trauma-informed care; and
Whereas numerous Federal agencies have integrated trauma-informed approaches into their programs and grants and could benefit from closer collaboration: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) recognizes the importance, effectiveness, and need for trauma-informed care among existing programs and agencies at the Federal level; and
(2) encourages the use and practice of trauma-informed care within the Federal Government, its agencies, and the United States Congress.
As I stated earlier, this is a beginning acknowledgment that trauma-informed care is now being recognized by our legislature as an essential component for the care of trauma-impacted individuals.
There is still much to do to bring this level of recognition to a point of change of policies, funding and support for how trauma-informed care should emerge and be implemented nationwide.
For today, we celebrate the beginning of what I hope will be positive change—a new trend—in our systems of care for thousands of individuals who have been trauma-impacted.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO