Oswego County Trauma Informed Collaborative Offers a New Approach

The Oswego County Trauma Informed Collaborative recently formed to help educate and encourage a trauma informed approach in providing health and human services to people; creating, in turn, a more resilient community. Pictured from left in the front row are collaborative co-chair Chantel Eckert; Stacie France, Marti Babcock and Diane Oldenburg. Pictured from left in the back row are David Hall, Amanda Barbera, Jodi Martin, Kate Ginney, Tammy Thompson, Alexys Bell, Brandy Koproski, collaborative co-chair Christina Wilson and Kristen Slimmer.

OSWEGO COUNTY – A group of health and human service providers and educators recently formed the Oswego County Trauma Informed Collaborative following their completion of a seven-month course of study.

The mission of the group is to provide education on the impact of trauma and promote trauma-informed practices in Oswego County with the vision of creating a trauma-resilient community.

Trauma affects not only the individual, but their families and communities as well by disrupting healthy development, upsetting relationships and contributing to mental health issues including substance abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.

These impacts are readily evident in the poor health rankings and widespread poverty found in Oswego County.

When a community produces multiple generations of people with untreated trauma, everyone pays the price with an increase in crime, loss of wages and threat to the stability of the family.

Oswego County Trauma Informed Collaborative co-chair Chantel Eckert said, “Although we cannot prevent all trauma, we are committed to addressing the far-reaching impact that it has on a person’s emotional regulation, cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, perceptions and beliefs, and relationships across their life-span.”

The collaborative is made up of professionals from across the county who work to promote the idea that service delivery, interactions and outcomes are greatly improved if approached with the assumption that all individuals may have a history of trauma.

This approach can result in positive and more cooperative exchanges and reduce the possibility of triggering or re-traumatizing others while attempting to help them.

The collaborative’s tactics include consciously changing interaction styles to create safety and trust, and encouraging choice, collaboration and empowerment of all.

A trauma-informed approach is essential for improving the health and well-being of the most vulnerable populations and for stemming the societal costs of such trauma.

Organizations can benefit from improved outcomes for both consumers and employees by promoting an environment of healing and recovery. Communities will also see a reduction in societal costs by helping those impacted by trauma heal, become self-sufficient and avoid re-traumatization.

Oswego County Trauma Informed Collaborative co-chair Christina Wilson added, “We invite interested community members to join these efforts, particularly those who work directly with people affected by trauma such as medical providers, emergency responders, law enforcement and faith-based organizations.”

Members of the collaborative received their training from the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care of the University of Buffalo School of Social Work and Buffalo Center for Social Research.

It was jointly funded by the Oswego County Health Department and Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, Inc.

For more information or to become involved, contact Chantel Eckert at 315-349-3547 or Christina Wilson at 315-343-2344 ext. 19.