Trauma-Informed Organizations Learning Community

December 18, 2015  |  Enews, Training, Trauma

Taking the lead from the state of Ohio’s Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Initiative, Patti Ahting of MHRS is forming a learning community. The aim of the community is to educate organizations and caregivers on how to be sensitive and aware of trauma’s influence on the lives of each person with whom the come into contact. MHRS has already partnered with more than 26 community organizations!

To frame this learning community, MHRS is funding a consultant for the benefit of each organization within the learning community at no cost. Our consultant and coach, Kristine Buffington, will be educating and leading us through this process.   She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervisory Designation with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work.  She has 30 years of experience in the field of social work as a case manager, clinical therapist, agency administrator, and a national trainer and consultant regarding issues of child traumatic stress and trauma-informed care.  She is an affiliate member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and has been a participant and chair of a number of national and state level committees to address traumatic stress, child welfare, and juvenile justice issues.  Her current focus is to advocate for trauma-informed care system transformation. She will provide training and direction for the group as they strive to become a Trauma-Informed Organization (TIO). So, why is it important to be a TIO?

70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. To give that statistic a bit more weight, that is 223.4 million people! Specifically within the realm of behavioral health, over 90% of clients have experienced trauma. In addition to the emotional implications of trauma, there is a direct correlation between trauma and physical health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure. 

Because of the prevalence, we interact with individuals everyday who have experienced traumatic events.  All organizations can become trauma-informed — including domestic violence programs, children’s services, court systems, jails, probation offices, job and family services, food pantries, homeless shelters, medical providers, developmental disabilities, schools, etc.  The focus of this initiative is not on treatment, but rather the ways in which we approach those with whom we come into contact, whetherby phone call or a clinical session. It could be as simple as adjusting environmental factors such as having the door open during a session, or working to reduce the noise level at the front desk. Our aim is to be aware of environments and approaches that might trigger a customer or client and how to make appropriate accommodations so that we do not re-traumatize him/her.

If you are interested in learning more about this initiative or becoming part of the Learning Community, please contact Patti Ahting at


We meet from 1-3pm on the 2nd Monday of every month at:

Warren County Administration Building; Room 128A

406 Justice Drive, Lebanon, OH

The following are our meeting dates:

January 11, 2016
(LOCATION EXCEPTION:  WC Administration Building, Room 318)

February 8, 2016

March 14, 2016

April 11, 2016

May 9, 2016

June 13, 2016

July 11, 2016

August 8, 2016

September 12, 2016

October 10, 2016

November 14, 2016

December 12, 2016