As our understanding of the interconnectedness of trauma and gender continues to grow and transform, so does the need to continue efforts to be trauma and gender-responsive. Now more than ever, the behavioral health field knows that trauma affects people’s brains, health, and functioning to a startling degree.
The Connecticut Women’s Consortium has been home to the Trauma and Gender Initiative (TAG) since the early 2000s. In conjunction with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), over 30 behavioral health agencies have gone through the 18-month program to come out ready to create meaningful change in their organizations. Along with the formal program, the TAG Learning Collaborative is a bi-monthly meeting of DMHAS-funded facilities with the intention of providing further education and support. Guest speakers present a broad range of topics from COVID fatigue and essential care to the intersection of trauma and gambling.
For those looking for a more extensive history of TAG in Connecticut, check out the 15th-anniversary edition of Trauma Matters.
To further this work, the Consortium has digitized the fidelity scale used to evaluate how trauma-informed and gender-responsive an organization is. Previously, the process to tabulate the fidelity scale results would have to be done by hand and accompanied by a written report. Now, the numerical results from an individual’s evaluation can be calculated instantly, and an executive summary of that person’s results is created. This new step into an online scale that can be utilized by answering yes or no questions allows for further accessibility in moving towards a trauma-informed and gender-responsive future.
In addition to the TAG fidelity scale, the Consortium has also launched the Trauma Services Provider Directory. This directory helps connect people to the trauma services they need. Services include trauma models like Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), Seeking Safety, and the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM), as well as trauma-informed curricula like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Helping Men Recover, and Beyond Violence. LGBTQ services are also becoming more widespread, and the directory has a search button to narrow down what agencies offer LGBTQ services.
The TAG Initiative is an ongoing exploration into how the behavioral health field can better provide first-class services to those that need them. Increased knowledge and information are the best ways to continue this work. Thank you to the providers who have made the Trauma Services Directory possible and to those that continue to move towards a healthier Connecticut.