We serve a community that has been and continues to be profoundly impacted by trauma. A 2014 survey showed that 64% of adults in Wyandotte County report one or more Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) in their lifetime compared to 55% of adults in Kansas. ACEs can take many forms, including childhood abuse and neglect, imprisonment of a parent, and substance abuse and mental illness in the household. We, as an organization, recognize the lasting impacts that individual and community trauma have on many of the individuals who come through our doors. It is on us to make sure that we can provide an environment that allows for healing.
Over the past few years, one of our main goals at Wyandot BHN has been to become a trauma-informed organization. Trauma informed care centers on six core principles: safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, empowerment and sustainability. It’s all about creating an environment that is safe – both physically and emotionally – for staff, the individuals we serve, and the larger community. Without an environment that feels safe, growth and progress is nearly impossible.
While our journey toward becoming a trauma informed organization began several years ago, we have accelerated our efforts in the past couple of years. This past year we began working with Resilience Builders, a Kansas City organization that focuses on training organizations in the practices of trauma informed care and resiliency. With the guidance of Resilience Builders CEO & Founder Marsha Morgan, Wyandot BHN has taken on the task of evaluating our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to providing trauma-informed care.
In late 2019, we launched our initial Trauma Informed Culture Assessment. The results showed us that we were clearly on a path toward becoming trauma informed, but there were certainly areas for improvement. We recently completed a follow-up assessment and the results showed that we are continuing to make strides. We improved our scores in each of the six core principles of trauma informed care and are “hitting the mark” in four out of those six core areas.
While those improved scores are certainly welcome news, we know that our work isn’t anywhere near finished. We strive for excellence in everything we do. And we know that excellence doesn’t come easily. We are committed to making the changes necessary to create a truly trauma informed culture. This is just the next step in furthering our mission of Healthy Minds. Healthy Lives. Thriving Community.