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Definitions & Terminology
The following resources are available to learn more about trauma and trauma informed care. Please read, use, and share them with others at home, at school, in the workplace, and in your community.
A person's response to something (an experience, a sensation, an event) that is distressing, disturbing, or life-threatening.
Trauma Informed Care
A perspective and behaviour shift rooted in the understanding and consideration of the pervasive nature of trauma. TIC is when we engage with each other or treat someone in a manner that promotes an environment of healing and recovery rather than practices and services that may inadvertently cause or re-traumatize. Trauma informed care is rooted in the following principles: Safety; Trustworthiness and Transparency; Collaboration and Mutuality; Peer Support; Empowerment, Voice, and Choice; Addressing Cultural Historical and Gender Issues. (SAMHSA)
Signs of Trauma
Sweating or shivering
Shortness of breath
Sudden outburts of anger or rage
Increased heartbeat, blood pressure
Feeling foggy, blurry, floaty
Feeling unreal (depersonalization)
Extreme fatigue or exhaustion
Grounding exercises are short activities that can help us manage intrusive thoughts when we are reminded of our traumatic experiences. The purpose of doing a grounding exercise is to bring us to the present moment and to distance ourselves from the negative thoughts, memories, or flashbacks.
The 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique
Build Your Trauma Informed Care Tool Box!
The following includes information on trauma and tools for addressing feelings of distress related to trauma.
To download this infographic on Understanding Trauma, click here.
Supporting Children After A Public Act Of Violence Or Community Tragedy
After a public act of violence, it is common to experience a wide range of responses, including fear, shock, anger, grief, and anxiety. Children's behaviors may change: they may experience trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, and sudden changes in moods. This is normal. Learn how adults can connect with and support children after a public act of violence or tragedy in the community.
This glossary was developed with the intention of creating an accessible resource where people can find definitions of terms related to trauma, violence, and trauma informed care. The goal is to build a shared understanding and language. Trauma informed care is usually something people associate with the clinical field, as something that only matters to mental health providers and their interactions with clients. The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) believes that a trauma informed approach is important for everyone.
Best Practices for Hosting Trauma Informed Meetings
An essential part of becoming more trauma informed, is bringing best practices to life in all spaces, including when we host meetings and presentations. Including some or all of these practices is recommended for fostering a space of safety, empowerment, and value.
To download best practices for hosting trauma informed meetings, click here.
NHS Lanarkshire EVA Services - Trauma and the Brain: Understanding abuse survivors responses. This animation is for any professional working with a service user when GBV is a feature in the case.
Ready to learn more about Trauma Informed Care? Check out these pages:
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.