Health Manager Orientation Guide

Working with a Trauma-informed Lens

A woman consoling a sad young girl.Using a trauma-informed lens is a critical part of Head Start health services. Just as trauma happens in a historical, intergenerational, and structural context, healing occurs in the same way. Systems using relational approaches that promote safety will foster resilience and healing for everybody, not just children, families, or staff members who have experienced trauma. Head Start buffers the impacts of adversity through its core values of family-centered, strengths-based, inclusive services.

Physical and mental health are interconnected, and it is important to consider them together in health services work.

Trauma occurs when frightening or threatening situations overwhelm somebody’s ability to cope or deal with what has happened. Each person has an individualized response to such events. What is traumatic for one person, might not be traumatic for another. However, these adversities certainly impact the relationships and well-being of those who experience them.