Resource Spotlight: PTSD and trauma-informed care
April 21, 2023
Written by CSHP Student
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Canada has one of the highest rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the world, with 8% Canadian adults meeting the criteria for probable PTSD. PTSD can have significant consequences on patients’ mental health, quality of life, and mortality. As a result of a growing awareness on the effects of trauma and PTSD, trauma-informed care (TIC) has emerged in recent years as a principle-based framework that aims to improve support and outcomes for those living with trauma. This “Resource Spotlight” contains links to associations and guidelines that help pharmacists learn more about PTSD and trauma informed care, along with helpful resources to share with patients. To learn more about PTSD and trauma informed care, check out CSHP’s recent Clinical Pearls article on PTSD and trauma-informed care.
Unless otherwise noted, the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) does not endorse or imply endorsement of the resources provided here. These resources are provided without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. It is the responsibility of the user of the resource to judge its suitability for his or her particular purpose within the context of his or her practice and the applicable legislative framework. In no event shall CSHP or any persons involved in providing the resource be liable for damages arising from its use. Resources are free unless otherwise indicated.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) located in Toronto, is Canada’s largest mental health and addictions teaching hospital. Their website features a wealth of resources for PTSD patients and healthcare providers including clinical and self-assessment tools, a summary of pharmacotherapies for PTSD, trauma resources (Ontario based), and mental health resources for healthcare workers. This webinar posted on their site also offers a great introduction to trauma informed care and provides some strategies for healthcare providers on how they can be implement TIC in their practice.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a non-profit organization that aims to advocate for and provide mental health resources and support for Canadians nationwide. Their website offers many resources for those struggling with PTSD and other mental health problems including links to national crisis services, online mental health courses, programs such as Resilient Minds™, which is a peer-to-peer skills development program that educates fire fighters on resilience and provides them with the skills to respond to trauma in their workplace, and information on various mental health conditions, including one on PTSD.
Government of Canada
This webpage on the Government of Canada website can direct patients with PTSD to resources across the country. Some of the notable resources include a help line for Indigenous peoples seeking mental health support or crisis intervention, substance use and harm reduction services, provincial and territorial resources for mental health support, and Wellness Together Canada, a 24/7 support program funded by the Government of Canada for people with concerns regarding mental health or substance use.
Alberta Health Services TIC Training Modules
The Trauma Informed Care (TIC) e-Learning Series is a series of seven self-study online modules developed by Alberta Health Services (AHS) for their Trauma Training Initiative. Each module can be completed in 30 minutes or less and covers foundational topics relevant to TIC such as how to understand and recognize trauma and how to implement TIC. Non-AHS staff can obtain a certificate of participation by completing all the modules, required pre- and post-competency surveys, and certificate request form. A second part of the Trauma Training Initiative exists as a series of five three-hour online workshops that serves to enhance healthcare providers’ knowledge of TIC and provide additional strategies for how they can better support patients living with trauma. These three-hour workshops are currently only available to AHS staff.
The Manitoba Trauma Information and Education Centre has put together a useful trauma informed toolkit made for service organizations and providers. It features extensive information on trauma-informed practices and PTSD, offers guidelines, and shares links to provincial trauma resources.
Federal Framework on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
In 2019, the Government of Canada published the first Federal Framework on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to recognize the great impact that PTSD has on Canadians. The document is extensive and guides future direction for how the government can support those affected by PTSD. Some useful information embed within the document include background information on PTSD in the Canadian context, insight on PTSD initiatives currently underway to support high-risk populations and individuals, and links to clinical practice guidelines, including the latest national guidelines for PTSD published by the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada in 2014.
PTSD Coach Canada is a free mobile app developed by Veterans Affairs Canada. While originally designed for veterans and military service members, anyone affected by PTSD may find the education, Canadian based resources, and tools to help manage symptoms within the app beneficial. It is not a meant to be a substitute for psychotherapy or medication for PTSD; however, it can be recommended as a convenient resource to supplement professional care.