Trauma-Informed Innovations in Crisis Services

April – September 2017 (4th Monday of each month) 3:00-4:00 PM (EST) 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint (NCTIC) is pleased to announce the opportunity to participate in an upcoming Webinar Series: “Trauma-Informed Innovations in Crisis Services.” The series will run from April – September 2017 on the 4th Monday of each month, from 3:00-4:00 PM (EST). This webinar series will highlight the innovative work of crisis service providers employing a trauma-informed approach, including prevention, engagement, and inclusion of lived experience and peer support. Each 60-minute webinar will focus on how an agency implements one of the principles from SAMHSA’s Concept and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach: Safety, Trustworthiness and Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration and Mutuality, Empowerment, Voice and Choice, and Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues. After the provider presentations, a moderated Q&A will follow. Intended audiences for this webinar series include: state mental health authorities, providers of crisis prevention and intervention services, as well as peers, families, and community members.

According to SAMHSA’s publication: Crisis Services: Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Funding Strategies, “National statistics attest to the significant need for crisis services. In 2010, 2.2 million hospitalizations and 5.3 million emergency department visits involved a diagnosis related to a mental health condition. Not everyone will experience a need for crisis services but some factors man increase the risk of crisis such as poverty, unstable housing, coexisting substance use, and other physical health problems. The research base on the effectiveness of crisis service has been growing, with evidence that crisis stabilization, community-based short-term crisis care, peer crisis services, and mobile crisis services can divert people from unnecessary hospitalizations and insure the least restrictive treatment option. A continuum of crisis services can assist in reducing costs and address the problem that lead to the crisis.  The primary goal of these services is to stabilize and improve symptoms of distress and engage people in the most appropriate treatment. 

In response to these trends and statistics, more and more states/organizations have developed innovative crisis services/teams through the implementation of SAMHSA’s Trauma-Informed Approaches. Crisis Services/Supports may include: short-term crisis residential programs, crisis stabilization programs (i.e., community-based, ER, psychiatric ER), peer-run and other crisis respite programs, comprehensive psychiatric emergency response centers, emergency response recovery/detox programs, mobile crisis outreach programs.

Webinar Series Schedule

Safety: Common Ground
Monday, April 24, 3-4 pm ET

This webinar will include a brief introduction by SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC) staff to SAMHSA’s six principles of a trauma-informed approach. Following the introduction, staff from Common Ground, located in Oakland County, Michigan will present on how they promote Safety in a crisis services setting. Common Ground provides a lifeline for individuals and families in crisis, victims of crime, persons with mental illness, people trying to cope with critical situations and runaway and homeless youths. It was intentionally designed as a trauma-informed crisis services program.

The link to the recording for this session is here.
The link to the power point is here.

Peer Support: Freise Hope House 
Monday, May 22, 3-4 pm ET

Crestwood Behavioral Health’s Freise HOPE (Helping Others through Peer Empowerment) House is a short-term, voluntary, mental health Crisis Residential Treatment Program (CRT) in Bakersfield, CA that welcomes guests into a warm, homelike environment. In this program, guests are provided a short-term safe place to land for during a psychiatric crisis. Guests are also engaged using a variety of recovery-based tools such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP) and trauma-informed approaches to help them to manage their symptoms and develop skills to live effectively in the community. The treatment team is comprised entirely of people with lived experience, who are trained and certified peer providers. For more information, visit: You can find additional information about this webinar session here.

The link to the recording for the Peer Support session is here.
The link to the power point is here.

Empowerment, Voice and Choice: Grassroots Wellness Peer-Run Respite and Learning Community
Monday, June 26, 3-4 PM ET

This principle is rooted in the primacy of the people served; in resilience; and the ability of individuals, organizations, and communities to heal and promote recovery from trauma. There is a recognition of the ways in which trauma survivors, historically, have been diminished in voice and choice. Victoria Welle, program coordinator with the Grassroots Wellness Peer-Run Respite and Learning Community in Wisconsin, will share how the peer-run respite fosters empowerment, voice and choice as part of an overall trauma-informed approach, and that people seeking support have the opportunity for shared decision-making and goal setting to determine the plan of action they need to heal and move forward.

The link to the recording for the Empowerment, Voice, and Choice session is here.
The link to the powerpoint is here.

Collaboration and Mutuality: Harbel Community Organization
To be Rescheduled

Staff from the Harbel Community Services organization will discuss the essential roles they play in the community organization. Harbel provides recovery services, but what is unique about their approach is their use of collaborative relationships with a wide range of community partners. Harbel employs persons with lived experience in all aspects of service delivery. A critical role includes outreach and support to individuals struggling with opiate addiction. Peer workers are trained to carry and administer Naloxone to revive individuals who have overdosed and offer recovery, trauma informed services immediately, thus helping to address the opioid epidemic. For more information, visit: More information can be found here.

Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues: The Ali Forney Center
Monday, August 28, 3-4 PM

This webinar will feature insights from staff at the Ali Forney Center (AFC) in New York, NY, the largest program dedicated to meeting the needs of LGBTQ homeless youth in the nation. AFC provides a comprehensive range of services to LGBTQ homeless and street-based youth, including a drop-in center, mobile outreach, and emergency housing. Their Peer Educator program was created based on the recognition that homeless youth are most likely to trust outreach workers who have been formerly homeless themselves. In addition, their community outreach program is designed to help mental health providers to serve LGBTQ youth in a more culturally-competent manner. For more information, visit: 

The recording for the Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues session is here.
The powerpoint is here.

Trustworthiness and Transparency: Baltimore Police Department 
Monday, September 25, 3-4 PM

Sergeant Joanne Wallace, Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator for the Baltimore Police Department, will discuss an innovative approach to crisis prevention and intervention in the City of Baltimore. Sgt. Wallace and her partner provide support to homeless individuals, including helping them to secure needed medical, behavioral and other services to prevent crisis and enhance adherence. They will expound on their creative, unique, and inspiring approaches to engaging people who are homeless, understanding the very complicated homeless community communication network, and maintaining trust within these networks; and their work with the Recovery Network and Baltimore Crisis Response when acute crisis services or immediate access to recovery support is necessary. For more information, please click here.

The recording for the Trustworthiness and Transparency session is here.
The link to the powerpoint is here.


If you have any questions about this VLN please email Pam Rainer at