Principles in Trauma-Informed Care

Purpose of Module

Trauma is pervasive. One in five Canadians have a history of trauma. This means that as you engage in peer support work on your campus, you will most certainly encounter people who have experienced trauma, even though you may not know their history. Because of this, we must serve everyone with the underlying assumption that they are coming to the table with a trauma history. Emotional safety is paramount as people are more likely to experience retraumatization when they feel unsafe.

It is essential that all peer support environments are built on principles of safety, predictability, and choice. In this module we focus on creating environments that are trauma-informed. When we create a trauma-informed peer support environment, we support the calming of the nervous system for everyone present, which allows people the safety and capacity to heal and grow. We also understand that trauma is almost never caused in isolation, and healing can never be done in isolation either. We need a systems approach to healing. In this module, we will be focusing on healing-centered relationships and their importance in the creation of trauma-informed peer support environments.

Learning Objectives

  1. You will be able to define and articulate clearly what it means to be trauma-informed and the importance of putting it into practice.
  2. You will be able to recognize and articulate the significance of systemic trauma.
  3. You will be able to identify key components of trauma-informed care and their application in campus settings.
  4. You will be able to examine and articulate the impact of trauma on health and learn simple practices that support the calming of the sympathetic nervous system.

Core Values

Throughout this module, please consider and reflect on the Core Values. When you are finished going through this module, please come back to this page and jot down some thoughts about how you will apply the Core Values in your work related to this topic. If you need a refresh of the definition of the Core Values see the graphic at the end of this module.

  • Hope and Wholeness for All
  • Acknowledgement
  • Mutuality
  • Strength-Based
  • Self-Determination
  • Respect, Dignity, and Equity
  • Belonging and Community
  • Curiosity

We will be digging into some challenging topics in this module. If you have a history of trauma it could bring up some discomfort for you. If you find it triggering please take a step back, and reach out to your supervisor or your campus counselor if you need some support.


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Post-Secondary Peer Support Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by Jenn Cusick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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