Understanding what has happened to a person and their whānau, rather than focusing on what is wrong with a person, is the basis to a trauma-informed approach. Many services are actively working towards providing trauma informed approaches.
People have different responses to trauma and we need to be aware of the event, the experience by a person or a population and the effects of the event. A trauma informed approach recognises and understands trauma can negatively affect whānau, groups, organisations and communities, as well as individuals.
In New Zealand the impacts of colonisation on the wellbeing of Māori people, the impact of historical trauma events and their contribution to negative health disparities experienced by many whānau (extended family), hapū (sub-tribes), and iwi (tribes) need to be considered in any trauma-informed approach.
A trauma-informed approach not only affects people who access health services but includes close attention to the wellbeing of workers. The prevention of further trauma and building resilience are essential factors needed for promoting worker wellbeing. See these worker wellbeing resources.
Research, initiatives and resources to support services and communities to develop trauma informed approaches often come from USA, Canada, UK and Australia. The use of, or adaption of, any overseas designed trauma informed care resources requires careful consideration to ensure that we are culturally respectful of, and responsive to, Māori people.