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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Highland Trauma Informed Practice Takes Step Forward

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Members of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee have made two appointments to the newly-developed role of Trauma Champion.

Councillors Liz Kraft and Morven Reid were successfully appointed to the role and will represent the Council on both local and national Trauma Champion networks.

Part of their commitment to the role will also see them undertake Scottish Trauma Informed Leaders Training (STILT).

The decision to develop and appoint to this role follows a decision made by the full Highland Council Committee earlier this year, during which members agreed that the Council should implement a trauma-informed practice corporately across all Council services.

It is estimated that around 60% of the UK population has experienced psychological trauma in their lifetime.

For more vulnerable groups, including people in in-patient mental health, drug and alcohol services and the justice system, the prevalence is even higher.

The 2019 Scottish Health Survey (external link) found that just over one in seven adults reported experiencing four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee Chair, Cllr David Fraser, congratulated his colleagues on their appointment to the role and said: 

“The emerging trends and statistics illustrate the clear need for the organisation to develop a trauma-informed workforce across Highland. 

“In doing so, we will ensure we deliver services in ways which prevent further harm for those who have already experienced trauma or adversity at any stage in their lives.”

“Those appointed to the role by today’s Committee will now start their journey  in helping to promote, oversee, and embed trauma-informed systems and services across all parts of the organisation.”

Cllr Fraser concluded by saying: 

“A key objective of this new role will be in identifying adaptations which can be implemented across the organisation in order to try and mitigate the impacts of trauma and to improve outcomes – this can range from physical and mental health, education, employment and wellbeing. 

“This is the reason why, as both an employer and public facing service, embedding trauma informed staff across all Council services is of vital importance.” 

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