Trauma Informed Care



The Kansas Consumer Advisory Council for Adult Mental Health (CAC) is proud to be an innovator and change agent in providing information and leadership to create a Trauma Informed Care system in Kansas and internationally. RECOVERY FOR REAL a three year CAC project funded by SAMHSA for development of a Trauma Informed Care (TIC) model was completed in 2012. The project included annual TIC conferences/round tables involving both consumers and mental health professionals, the development, publishing and refinement of a TIC training curriculum and 6 trainings, 3 at community mental health centers and 3 at consumer run organizations (CROs). The CAC will remain committed to seeing that Trauma Informed Care becomes the standard of care in Kansas.  As funds allow you can expect to see additional trainings hopefully at least 2 per year at CRO’s and/or other organizations, the inclusion of TIC related topics at the Kansas recovery conference and other efforts to establish a trauma informed care system in Kansas. We are proud to announce that our Trauma Informed Care curriculum will be introduced in Australia in May 2015!

What is TIC?

  • Trauma informed care (TIC) asks not what’s wrong with you? Instead it asks what happened to you? The current model of mental health care asks about your symptoms (what‘s wrong with you?) and focuses on prescribing medications and treatment plans to help you cope with your symptoms. It rarely asks what happened or looks at the symptoms as coping/survival strategies. TIC recognizes the coping/survival skills and doesn’t traumatize an individual or re-traumatize them when they seek help.
  • Trauma Informed Care is a monumental breakthrough because of the causal link between trauma and later health problems. Early trauma has been correlated to later life mental health and physical health issues in a research study conducted by the CDC in partnership with Kaiser Permanente called the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (
  • Trauma Informed Care takes into account that most people who receive help in the public mental health system have been exposed to underlying trauma. That exposure creates vulnerabilities which must be taken into account for real recovery to occur.

Trauma is a very personal thing; an event that paralyzes one person emotionally may barely register on the radar of another.  Treatment that is helpful to one person may add to and compound the trauma of another.  You may find the following acrostic poem by Chris White helpful in understanding trauma and its very personal nature.


Renders one helpless & hopeless

At own pace for healing

Unacknowledged & invalidated

Meds not helpful & often harmful

Accompanied by other crap if not dealt with

© by Chris White on Aug 11, 2012

Recovery from a trauma-informed perspective makes choice, voice and trust central to the healing relationship.  It acknowledges and validates the individual’s feelings and experiences, provides space and a place for healing to take place and does everything in its power not to add to the trauma already experienced.

For more information on Trauma Informed Care or to possibly schedule a training with  your organization contact:

 Koleen Garrison or Melissa Patrick – CAC Interim Co-Directors
by email at:
koleengarrisonatkansascacdotorg or melissapatrickatkansascacdotorg


Or by phone at:
Koleen: (620) 639-1258
Melissa: (316) 312-3479


Trauma Informed Care Brochure