SOSE maintains the view that Shambhala leaders and teachers need to become trauma informed in order to serve others in the community with the best care. The care we provide must be informed by a basic knowledge of how traumatic experiences and traumatic stress may impact the people we are serving.
Examples of trauma informed approaches by individuals in our society may include:
- A trauma-informed classroom teacher who recognizes that a student with his head on his desk most mornings has been up all night because he often hears gunfire in his neighborhood. She adjusts her approach to engaging this student in class, and he is better able to learn.
- A trauma-informed police officer enters a home on a domestic violence call, and after ensuring that everyone is safe, gets down on one knee to speak softly to the small child who just watched her father being arrested.
- A trauma-informed pediatric nurse on a busy inpatient unit notices that a young patient in her care is extremely quiet and withdrawn in the hours leading up to a planned surgical procedure. She takes a few moments to talk with the patient and his family to understand and address their specific worries and concerns.
A trauma-informed system takes these ideas one step further, moving beyond the actions of individual professionals to incorporate knowledge of trauma into the policies, practices and “culture” of entire institutions. SOSE would like to offer and encourage trauma education and training in all aspects of Shambhala society.
Trauma-informed systems also recognize the possible impact on staff who have repeated exposure to challenging, potentially traumatic situations.