(PASADENA, CA) Hillsides has been selected to implement a new, innovative standard of care in the mental health industry called trauma-informed care that screens and treats individuals according to how much trauma they have experienced in their lives.
Hillsides is one of just 35 agencies in the nation and two in Los Angeles County to be chosen this year for this distinction by the National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council), which advocates for and serves the nation’s mentally ill and those with addiction disorders.
The primary goals of trauma-informed care are to increase clients’ sense of emotional and physical safety, improve the social environment in a way that improves relationships for all, and to have quicker, more successful outcomes for clients.
“We are very excited to be part of this new standard of care because it will allow us to have an even greater impact on our clients,” said Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides’ chief executive officer. “Research shows that 59 percent of the general population has experienced at least one adverse childhood experience and 70 percent of youth in residential placement have had some type of traumatic experience. The children and families of Hillsides can benefit tremendously from this focus.”
Hillsides was chosen from some 150 agencies who applied to be a trauma-informed care organization, according to Cheryl S. Sharp, the senior advisor for trauma-informed services at the National Council. The National Council was impressed with Hillsides’ ability and willingness to commit to the concept, she said.
Hillsides, under the direction of Stacey Roth, the director of Hillsides Family Resource Centers, has created a core implementation team that consists of a representative from each department. The team is undergoing training, and has drafted a mission statement that states: “Hillsides promotes a client-driven, strengths-based organization of excellence that embraces communities using trauma-informed care principles and builds trusting, collaborative relationships.”
The team’s goal, said Roth, is to train everyone at Hillsides in this new practice and to change the language of the organization’s policies and procedures to make sure they are trauma-informed.
Sharp said that she is impressed with the progress Hillsides has already made. “The enthusiasm and commitment of the core implementation team led by Stacey Roth has been impressive. There are always teams that stand out each year and Hillsides is going to be one of those teams.”
Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families. Becoming a trauma-informed organization is yet one more step for Hillsides, which this year was accredited by the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA), demonstrating the best practice standards in the field of human services. The charity, which is celebrating its centennial this year, also recently rebranded with a new logo and a redesigned web site. For more information on Hillsides, please visit www.Hillsides.org.