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  1. Youth Topics
  2. Mental Health
  3. Trauma Informed Approaches

Trauma Informed Approaches

On Tuesday May 21, 2013, the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs hosted a webinar, Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach for Youth Across Service Sectors. The webinar featured three content experts nationally known in their field, as well as two youth presenters who spoke about their own lived experience and the importance of trauma-informed care.

Recognizing the effects of trauma and understanding how to address trauma are important objectives in the Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). SAMHSA is leading the way in integrating a trauma-informed approach throughout health, behavioral health, and related systems to reduce the harmful effects of trauma and violence on individuals, families, and communities, and using innovative strategies to reduce the involvement of individuals with trauma and behavioral health issues in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. View the slides and webinar recording below to learn more.

Download PowerPoint Slides

Download Brief: Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach for Youth across Service Sectors (PDF, 9 pages)


SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach (PDF, 27 pages)
This paper introduces SAMHSA’s concept of trauma and offers a framework for how an organization, system, or service sector can become trauma informed by integrating the perspectives of researchers, practitioners, and people with experience of trauma.

SAMHSA’s KSOC-TV: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health
This webisode explored the principles of a trauma-informed approach and trauma-specific interventions designed to address the consequences of trauma among children, youth, and families.

Trauma-Informed Approaches: Federal Activities and Initiatives (PDF, 77 pages)
This report illustrates how trauma-informed approaches to serving women and girls have been implemented across more than a dozen federal agencies, departments, and offices through multiple projects, programs, and initiatives.

Other Resources on this Topic




Youth Topics

Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).