Mental Health: Work Effectively in Trauma Informed Care Essay Example

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Prevalence of trauma in the general population and with service users

Mental illness is one of the global major health challenges affecting human in a vast range of classes. Due to the fact that mental illnesses vary in types and impacts, many people are affected, even though some may not be aware of it. Trauma is one of the most common mental illnesses in Australia due to the high likelihood of traumatic events in the contemporary society. In a recent study about the prevalence and impacts of psychological trauma in Australia, the potentials of developing post-traumatic disorder amongst people is relatively high considering that the general public estimates at 51% of women and 61% of men who experience traumatic events in the country (Creamer et al., 2001). According to a report by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, trauma is a mental disorder that affects nearly 800,000 Australians, making it the second most common mental illness after depression (AIHW, 2014). Therefore, due to high likelihood of traumatic events in daily lives of people, trauma prevalence in the contemporary society is highly significant.

Definitions of trauma and complex trauma and its impacts

Understanding trauma has been associated with life threatening events (AIHW, 2014); however, the concept and challenge of trauma can be argued to link to include many different scenarios (Creamer et al., 2001). According to USDVA (n.d.), trauma can be defined as the psychological pain that a person feels due the perception that an event is stressful. Trauma can also be argued to be a stressful feeling that affects a person due to an experience of a devastating event (AIHW, 2014). However, Creamer et al. (2001) argues that psychological trauma is an emotional response to or damage to the psyche of a person as a result of severely stressful event. Therefore, complex trauma can be argued to be the extreme feeling of psychological pain due to repetitive and prolonged trauma, which may involve harm or abandonment by a person providing care, amongst other close people (Sweeney et al., 2016). Therefore, complex trauma is an extreme version of trauma.

How trauma impacts development of those affected

Concerning the impacts of trauma, the development of a person affected by this psychological disorder can experience deterrence to his or her development within a short or over a long period. Sweeney et al. (2016) argues that short-term and long-term effects of trauma can be similar; never the less, immediate care should be provided to the affected to anticipate and prevent permanence. Trauma results in isolation behaviour, inability to effectively regulate emotions, hypersensitive to physical contacts, difficulty in understanding or brain related activities, and inability to develop quality attachment to people (Creamer et al. 2001).

The dynamics of interpersonal violence and the relationship to trauma

Considering the fact that the fore-mentioned impacts relate to physical, social and emotional developments, amongst others, it is evident that trauma affects the development of the affected in a vast range of ways. The feeling of betrayal or abuse, amongst others, can sometime offset the inability to effectively regulate and manage emotions, which intern impacts high levels of anger amongst the affected people. Being violent12 is the most common response to anger-evoking situations (Creamer et al. 2001; Sweeney et al., 2016). Trauma can therefore be argued to be associated to many cases of poor anger management and violence. Violence, due to inability to control and manage emotions, is amongst the adverse effects of trauma, which hinder development. Coping with the condition requires awareness and acceptance, which also reduce chances of re-traumatisation.

The way individuals cope and manage the impact of trauma

There are various ways through which people that are affected by trauma can cope and manage their situation. Most of the suggested ways by trauma and other mental health professionals are associated with awareness and openness about potential triggers of this condition. According to United States, Department of Veteran Affairs, it is imperative to comprehend the idea that recovery from trauma is a process, which would take time (USDVA, n.d.). According to APS (n.d.), USDVA (n.d.), and Sweeney et al. (2016), some of the effective ways towards coping with and managing trauma include: learning and becoming aware of trauma and PTSD; talking openly about the experiences; practicing relaxation through various methods, which also manages anger, and distraction through positive activities.

The potential for and causes of re-traumatisation, in particular in accessing or receiving services

Sweeney et al. (2016) explain that re-traumatisation, especially upon or whilst receiving care, can occur due to abandonment by caregiver, detachment from loved ones, re-occurrence of similar events to previous ones, and diagnosis of a life threatening or disability condition, amongst many others.


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2014). Mental health services in brief. Retrieved from:

Australian Psychological Society (APS) (n.d.). Understanding and managing psychological trauma. Retrieved from:

Creamer, M., Burgess, P. & McFarlane, A. C. (2001). Post-traumatic stress disorder: findings from the Australian national survey of mental health and well-being. Psychological Medicine, 31: 1237-1247.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (2014). Chapter 3, Trauma-informed care in behavioural health services. Treatment Improved Protocol (TIP) Series 57. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4801. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Sweeney, A., Clement, S., Filson, B., & Kennedy, A. (2016). Trauma-informed mental healthcare in the UK: what is it and how can we further its development? Mental Health Review Journal, 21(3): 174-192.

United States, Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) (n.d.). National centre for PTSD: coping with traumatic stress reactions. Retrieved from: