From now through Dec. 21, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking public input on its concept paper, SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Trauma and Principles and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach.

SAMHSA has developed the following working definition of individual trauma: Individual trauma results from an event, series of events or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, emotional or spiritual well-being.

The SAMHSA concept paper is divided into three sections. Each section has its own unique forum in which individuals can provide comments and vote on comments offered by others:

  1.  Definition of Trauma
  2. A Trauma-Informed Approach
  3. Guidelines for Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach

The feedback forum began Dec. 10.

“Feedback on the forum is an important part of the public dialogue on this issue,” wrote SAMHSA in a press release. “Your feedback will be carefully considered in the shaping of the definitions of trauma and trauma-informed approach, and the principles and guidelines of a trauma-informed approach.”

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