Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma has many different forms and can affect people in different ways. Since trauma can have serious effects on people’s health, behaviors, relationships, and other aspects of day-to-day life, health care providers of all disciplines are encouraged to learn more trauma-informed care (TIC). Providers are also encouraged to develop a comprehensive TIC approach to help promote healing, recovery, and wellness.

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and the Center for Mental Health Services/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have found that, regardless of trauma type, a comprehensive trauma-informed approach has clear benefits for patients and caregivers.1,3

Using a TIC model increases patient engagement, resulting in an increase in kept appointments and a decrease in need for hospitalization, increased staff confidence and satisfaction, and better relationships between providers and patients.1

Keystone First developed the following materials and compiled these resources to help your practice better address the experiences.

What Is Trauma-Informed Care?

Traumatic events come in many forms and can seriously affect a person’s overall health and well-being.1,2,3 TIC is a multipronged public health approach that helps providers and caregivers better understand trauma and its far-reaching effects.

Download “What is Trauma-Informed Care?” (PDF) to learn more

Adopting a Trauma-Informed Approach

To adopt a trauma-informed approach is to be prepared to safely and promptly address experiences of trauma. Adopting a trauma-informed care approach can increase patient engagement, increase follow-up appointment likelihood, and more.1,4 Follow these principles to support higher-quality health care and improved outcomes.

Download “Adopting a Trauma-Informed Approach” (PDF) to learn more

Trauma-Informed Care Practice Checklist

Is your practice prepared to immediately tend to specific experiences of trauma in a manner consistent with mandatory reporting laws? Use this checklist to identify areas of strength and opportunities for growth within your practice.

Download “Trauma-Informed Care Practice Checklist” (PDF)

Self-Care for Providers of Trauma Patients

Providers and others close to trauma patients may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and other related conditions.5 These conditions are called secondary traumatic stress, or vicarious trauma. Watch for these warning signs and follow these tips to help prevent secondary traumatic stress.

Download “Self-Care for Providers of Trauma Patients” (PDF) to learn more

How we can help your practice with trauma-informed care

You can quickly and easily access the below resources from our provider resources page.

  • Education: Clinical education on trauma and trauma-informed care and a variety of clinical topics, including evidence-based motivational interviewing techniques to improve patient engagement.
  • Continued learning: Subject matter experts on screening and referral practices, online resources such as our exclusive behavioral health toolkit, and e-learning modules specifically designed for providers. Training materials can be found on our provider resources page under Behavioral health.
  • One-step patient referrals: The Let Us Know program, a one-step patient referral process to Keystone First care coordination and care management services.
  • Billing: Billing and coding information on Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) procedures.
  • Data: Practice-specific data on patients’ health conditions attributable to trauma.
  • Resources in your community: Information on local community services and resources specializing in behavioral health and trauma-informed approaches.
  • Additional services for members: Member access to community wellness services, including access to health promotion and wellness information and events that help treat the effects of trauma.
  • Care coordination and management: Care coordination and care management services to help your patients find, schedule, and attend specialty provider treatment and connect with resources.

Further reading  

Self-care resources for preventing secondary traumatic stress

Online resources for vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout

Trauma and resilience screening resources*

*This list is not all-inclusive. Additional resources are available.

  1. “SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach,” SAMHSA’s Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative,
  2. “The ABC’s of Trauma-Informed Care,” National Council for Behavioral Health,
  3. “Adverse Childhood Experiences: Looking at how ACEs affect our lives & society,” Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention,
  4. “Key Ingredients for Successful Trauma-Informed Care Implementation,” Center for Health Care Strategies, April 2016,
  5. “Self Care and Secondary Trauma for Providers,” Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,