Cross-Systems Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care is an organizational structure and treatment framework for understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Trauma-informed care also focuses on physical, psychological and emotional safety for every person and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Sharing the same vision and purpose of the Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan (PDF) developed by the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, the initiative provides a framework to advance the mission of developing a coordinated statewide approach to the delivery of behavioral health services that allows all Texans to have access to care at the right time and place.

CS-TIC Vision: A Texas behavioral health system, as envisioned by the Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan, that is healing-centered and trauma-informed in its foundation and unified in its implementation of a person-centered and family-focused approach.

CS-TIC Purpose: To develop a coordinated statewide approach for building a person-centered, trauma-informed behavioral health system that provides quality supports, services and care to Texans. Systems Transformation

Systems Transformation

To fully integrate trauma-informed care and create a culture shift regarding trauma, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Office of Mental Health Coordination has launched a cross-systems trauma-informed care (CS-TIC) transformation initiative. The initiative involves working with state agencies across Texas to advance trauma-informed organizations, culture and services. The CS-TIC collaboration includes representatives from state agencies who receive state funding for behavioral health training or services.

As part of the CS-TIC initiative, HHSC has established an internal Trauma Transformation Team with representatives from different divisions and departments within the agency. Team members are trauma champions who facilitate change within HHSC.

Addressing trauma from a systemwide perspective requires a multipronged public health approach inclusive of public education and awareness, prevention and early identification, and effective trauma-specific assessment and treatment. Services need to be provided in an organizational or community context that is trauma-informed and based on the knowledge and understanding of trauma and its far-reaching implications.

Research conducted on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) demonstrates the importance of trauma-informed care and the CS-TIC initiative by revealing the powerful impact negative childhood experiences have on future health and functioning. The study showed the more negative events a child experienced, the higher the likelihood he or she suffered an array of health and behavior problems including alcoholism, chronic pulmonary disease, depression, illicit drug use, liver disease and adolescent pregnancy as an adult (CDC, 2014). Adults with the highest levels of ACEs had a life expectancy 20 years less than those without high levels of ACEs.