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What is trauma?

Actually, there is no universal definition. Trauma is a personal and individual experience. It can be any event or circumstance that is physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on your mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being.

Some examples of trauma are motor vehicle collisions, falls, witnessing violence in your community, neglect or abuse as a child, poverty or discrimination.

How can trauma affect my health and well-being?

Trauma — whether physical or emotional — can increase your risk of serious health problems like lung and heart disease, depression, and alcohol and drug use.

Trauma during childhood or experiencing more than one trauma throughout your life increases this risk even more.

Recovery is more than healing a broken bone or stitching up an open wound. Recovery can happen when your past experiences, your current social circumstances, your physical injuries, and your emotional and mental health are considered together.

Trauma-informed care combines:

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What can you expect during your hospital stay?

  • Providers (e.g., nurses, doctors, students, social workers) may ask you about your past and current circumstances like your social support at home or your ability to get healthy foods and make doctor’s appointments. This helps us take care of ALL of you and promote recovery after trauma.
  • Our goal is to help you feel safe, secure, and supported.
  • You have the power to speak your mind, ask for help, and talk with us about what matters most to you.
  • You may be offered the opportunity to speak with a peer mentor — someone who has had similar experiences as you — while you are in the hospital.
  • You may also be offered resources to help you get better and find support in your recovery after you leave the hospital.

Some resources for you to explore: