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New report on trauma-informed care and women’s mental health

The Centre for Mental Health and the Mental Health Foundation, in collaboration with the Association of Mental Health Providers, the National LGB&T Partnership and the Race Equality Foundation have published a new report designed to help public services understand trauma-informed care to better support women’s mental health. The report was commissioned by the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

Engaging with complexity builds on the 2018 Women’s Mental Health Taskforce report, which recommended the wider use of trauma-informed care. The resource is informed by a review of literature and consultations involving women with expertise by experience and professionals with an interest in trauma-informed approaches.

It shows that trauma is a common experience but that it disproportionately affects marginalised groups of people. Women’s experiences of trauma are often different to men’s, but everyone’s individual experience is unique. Trauma-informed care can respond to this by listening to and valuing women’s stories, by creating safe spaces to talk, by showing an understanding of the traumas women have experienced, and by responding to their needs without creating new traumas.

The report finds that there are barriers to public services becoming trauma-informed. These include resistance both to acknowledging the importance of trauma and to changing long-established practices, as well as scarce resources and low morale. But it finds that adopting the principles of trauma-informed care can make services more effective in responding to the needs of women who have experienced trauma.

For more information, see: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/engaging-complexity