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Hello there.  Welcome.  How are you?  Well, I hope.  This guide was initially created as a resource for the Fall 2021 Faculty Inservice breakout with Krisi Hagen and myself, Nic Ashman.  You are thinking, "oh, that was some time ago..."  Updates are  made periodically as the conversation around trauma unfolds.  What does that mean to you?  Check back regularly for those updates.  Now, let's dive in.

What is Trauma?  Per SAMSA:

"an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being."  Further, "Trauma has no boundaries with regard to age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Trauma is a common experience for adults and children in American communities, and it is especially common in the lives of people with mental and substance use disorders. For this reason, the need to address trauma is increasingly seen as an important part of effective behavioral health care and an integral part of the healing and recovery process."

- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, retrieved August 2021.

Image of trauma related vocabulary in a word cloud shape


"Trauma2" by Nic Ashman is licensed under CC BY 4.0.  This image was created using Word Art.

Some Statistics

Here are some quick statistics involving our current and incoming college students, with original links (from the source text) left intact for you to follow for more information:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 

- Data is from National Alliance on Mental Illness's "Mental Health By the Numbers" webpage, collected August 2021

Add in a pandemic and you end up with even more complexity in the numbers:

  • 1 in 5 of college students say their mental health has significantly worsened under COVID-19
  • 80% of college students reported that COVID-19 has negatively impacted their mental health
  • 76% have trouble maintaining a routine
  • 85% say that focusing on school and work despite distractions has been the most difficult thing about the stay-at-home orders
  • More than half of students (55%) say that they would not know where to go if they or someone they knew needed professional mental health services right away.

- Data from Active Mind's "COVID-19 Impact on College Student Mental Health" PDF, retrieved August 2021

These statistics are just a small glimpse at a much larger issue.  So how does Trauma integrate into the conversation?  And what does it mean in our classrooms? This guide was created to help you understand that.  Use that tabs at the top of the page to navigate to the next section.

Trauma-Informed Education Presentation

Trauma Informed Care Resources: Trauma in Words and Numbers