Why We Advocated to Establish Trauma-Informed Awareness Day

Why We Advocated to Establish Trauma-Informed Awareness Day
May 13, 2022 Camille Simpson
Why We Advocated to Establish Trauma-Informed Awareness Day

Why We Advocated to Establish Trauma-Informed Awareness Day

What exactly is trauma-informed awareness day?

Trauma-Informed Awareness Day is a state-wide initiative in Illinois to increase understanding that many of the people we encounter have or may experience a traumatic event at one point in their lives. Around the same time this state-wide initiative launched in 2019, our Behavioral Health Services Team brought this issue to our city’s attention and encouraged them to declare May 15th Trauma-Informed Awareness Day in Peoria.

Trauma affects many people

Trauma can be defined as anything that overwhelms our ability to cope and it’s much more prevalent than you may think. People can experience acute trauma from one event, such as a natural disaster, but there’s also complex trauma. Complex trauma is when someone experiences repeated traumatic events – such as ongoing physical abuse in a relationship. It’s also important to note that some people don’t realize they have gone through a traumatic experience, and their symptoms may seem confusing as they don’t understand the impact the event had on their wellbeing.

Trauma’s impact is serious

Trauma can overwhelm our ability to function because it can keep us trapped in ‘fight or flight mode’ – our body’s response to a perceived threat to our survival. We aren’t meant to operate our everyday lives stuck in ‘survival mode,’ and it’s extremely challenging to do so. When we can no longer respond to situations as we normally would, it can cause behaviors that lead to repercussions that create additional stress for those with trauma.

Community awareness is paramount

Our team sees first-hand the effects that trauma can have on someone, but it’s likely that you may be witnessing these effects too. There’s always a reason behind behavior – it’s a symptom of a deeper struggle. Our schools, employers, and doctors need to be aware of the impact of trauma so they can respond accordingly. Until those with trauma gain access to support and the resources needed to begin coping and healing, it’s likely that their symptoms may continue or increase.

We’re proud to have played a part in getting Trauma-Informed Awareness Day established in Peoria. We look forward to continuing to educate our community and growing towards a more trauma-informed future.

Author: Stephanie Seidl, Associate Director of Behavioral Health