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Trauma and Schools

Trauma-informed schools are sensitive to the prevalence and impact of trauma on their students and create a welcoming, safe and supportive environment for children to learn, grow, and meet their educational needs.

It is important to remember that in schools, it is not always appropriate or even possible to discover whether a child’s behaviors or learning struggles are the result of a trauma response.  Therefore, when educators take a universal approach to creating a trauma-informed environment throughout the school, they are creating an atmosphere of support, encouragement, and growth which can help all students access their education and minimize the enduring effects of trauma when it is present in their lives.

Educators and administrators in schools across Vermont recognize the need for a collaborative and trauma-informed approach.  The Department of Mental Health, Community Mental Health Centers, as well as private consultants throughout the state, can work with school systems to discuss how educators can create a flexible framework that provides support, is sensitive to the unique needs of students, and is mindful of avoiding re-traumatization.

Many schools throughout the state collaborate with their local Community Mental Health Center for school-based mental health services to support children with trauma and other mental health concerns and for consultation and training for school personnel on these topics.  For more information on School-Based Mental Health, click here.

Additional resources on trauma and trauma-sensitive schools can be found here