Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 467–475 | Cite as

Achieving Service Change Through the Implementation of a Trauma-Informed Care Training Program Within a Mental Health Service

  • Nicola Palfrey
  • Rebecca E. ReayEmail author
  • Velissa Aplin
  • Jeffery C. Cubis
  • Virginia McAndrew
  • Denise M. Riordan
  • Beverley Raphael
Original Paper


As evidence continues to accumulate for the association between childhood trauma and long-term adverse outcomes, Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) approaches are emerging as fundamental to contemporary mental health services. To evaluate a workshop designed to influence mental health practitioners in TIC principles and practices. Nursing, medical and allied health professionals completed pre and post measures of confidence, awareness and attitudes towards TIC practice. The workshop was rated as highly relevant and useful to clinician’s practice. Participants’ self-reported confidence, awareness and attitudes towards TIC significantly increased (p < .001) and the perceived number of barriers to working within a TIC framework significantly decreased (p < .05). Child and Adolescent Mental Health clinicians routinely screened for trauma and 80% had received training in a trauma specific intervention at follow-up. This brief training provides an important foundation for the development of trauma-informed, evidence-based mental health services.


Trauma-informed Trauma training Mental health services Implementation Evaluation 



We wish to express our appreciation to the many clinicians who participated in the Trauma Informed Care project. We are also very grateful for the support from Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services management. We acknowledge the ACT Health Private Practice Fund for their financial support

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no competing interest statements to disclose.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the ACT Health Human Research Ethics Committee (ETH. 11.12.281).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Palfrey
    • 1
  • Rebecca E. Reay
    • 2
    Email author
  • Velissa Aplin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jeffery C. Cubis
    • 2
    • 3
  • Virginia McAndrew
    • 3
  • Denise M. Riordan
    • 3
  • Beverley Raphael
    • 2
  1. 1.Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma Loss and Grief Network, ANU Medical SchoolThe Canberra HospitalGarranAustralia
  2. 2.Academic Unit of Psychiatry & Addiction Medicine, ANU Medical SchoolThe Canberra HospitalGarranAustralia
  3. 3.Child & Adolescent Mental Health ServicesACT Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug Services (MHJHDAS)CanberraAustralia

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