Treating Trauma

April 01, 2019 By: Bob Atlas

Heartbreaking news out of Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., in recent weeks — in which survivors and loved ones of those affected by violence died by suicide — have put the devastating effects of trauma in the spotlight.

Maryland’s health care leaders are all too familiar with the long-term effects of violence, natural disasters, and other harrowing events. You see suffering in the community. You know that health care workers may experience serious secondary trauma while caring for patients.

Many hospitals support your communities through outreach, education, and early intervention. You also are undertaking efforts to protect, sustain and strengthen front line staff and other associates who care for traumatized patients daily.

Your Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) is here to assist you as you reimagine trauma-informed care. We established a Behavioral Health Task Force to identify and support efforts aimed at reinforcing our state’s behavioral health care continuum. Looking ahead, that dedicated group will be focusing on important issues, including stigma and screening for suicide risk.

Last year, MHA and the Maryland Nurses Association formed the Workplace Violence Prevention Steering Committee and hosted a statewide summit on workplace violence.

But, of course, there is more work to do to keep our workforce and our communities healthy and resilient.

Part of MHA’s job is to gather and disseminate best practices. I encourage you to visit our Innovations for Better Health repository to share your successes and to let us know how we can bolster your efforts.