From 2015-2017, CMHA participated in a TAG practice improvement initiative to enhance and enrich our agency.
TAG stands for Trauma-informed And Gender responsive care. When we talk about TAG, we mean much more than trauma-specific services. It’s about all parts of the experience with CMHA: from your first contact with staff to what you see and hear as you sit in the waiting room to incorporating staff and client feedback.
To be trauma-informed and gender responsive, an agency must incorporate knowledge about trauma—its prevalence, impact and the complex paths to recovery and healing —into every aspect of its contacts, activities, relationships and physical settings.Gender responsive care recognizes that all people have different needs and priorities, and that trauma occurs within the context of gender.
Gender differences often include type of trauma exposure and reaction to trauma, so treatment needs often vary.
Trauma-informed principles are:
- Safety: Ensuring that clients feel physically and emotionally safe as they come into the treatment environment and that staff are safe too.
- Trustworthiness: Clients know that providers will ensure that services are clear and consistent and that appropriate boundaries (especially interpersonal ones) are maintained.
- Choice: Client preference in routine practices and crisis situations will be prioritized.
- Collaboration: Client input will be considered in the service delivery practice and decisions so that a collaborative relationship will be encouraged between clients and providers.
- Empowerment: Services are developed and delivered to maximize client empowerment, recognizing strengths and building skills that will enable a successful transition from services.
A few members of our TAG committee: Reagan Flyg, Saidou Hann, Gabi Andrukiewicz, Heather Paluso,
Jessica Antunes, and Chairperson Dina Anderson.