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Trauma Lab

Trauma Lab

What need is the Trauma-Informed Approaches Innovation Lab seeking to meet?

In Minnesota, there is  broad buy-in across multiple sectors for trauma-informed approaches. Despite this buy-in there remains a pressing need for:

  • a consistent definition of what we mean by a trauma informed approach
  • an understanding of how to integrate and align trauma-informed approaches across different systems
  • implementation that effectively puts trauma informed approaches into practice

The purpose of this initiative is to assess the needs and opportunities for a  collaborative effort that will align and enhance trauma-informed work across Minnesota  in ways that are both evidence-based and practice-based.  This initiative builds upon mental health theory and technical knowledge of trauma-informed care to support adaptive application that effectively integrates trauma-informed approaches into the cultures of our organizations and communities.


What are we doing?

In the spring of 2014,  the Lab conducted surveys and interviews to map what is happening in trauma-informed work across Minnesota, in all fields and communities. In June 2014, 140 gathered in St. Paul to reflect together on the findings of the data, and identify what will be most useful in linking and enhancing this work, to better tell and develop the story of Minnesota as a leader in trauma-informed approaches. This assessment was done as a part of an innovation lab, a collaborative process to find, test, and spread solutions to social challenges. In June of 2015, we will gather again to update each other on progress we are making and invite each other into next steps we are taking to advance trauma-informed practice in Minnesota.


How can you be involved?

  • Participate in the June 22, 2015 event hosted by the Lab, “Taking Initiative: Connecting, Learning, Leading.” Using open space technology, we will spend a day reflecting, sharing, infusing, refreshing, and shifting our perspectives on trauma-informed approaches as individuals and as a learning community. Come prepared to co-create the agenda for the day and to engage in shared leadership and learning!
  • Complete an online survey to share what you are doing with trauma-informed approaches. Click here to complete the survey.

Here is a sneak preview of a map of trauma-informed initiatives already included in the survey. Please add what you know about to fill in the gaps.

And here is an online presentation of the preliminary findings from the surveys

  • Partner with us in envisioning and implementing responses to this assessment to further effective application of trauma-informed practices in Minnesota.

Who is behind this?

The coordinating team for the Lab includes  Dave Ellis (Dave Ellis Consulting, LLC), Becky Dale (Minnesota Communities Caring for Children), Kate Bailey (Minnesota Communities Caring for Children), Kirsten Johnson (Wilder Foundation), Michael Bischoff (Social Innovation Lab), Jane Kretzmann (University of Minnesota), Sandy White Hawk, Patina Park (Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center), Ann Boerth (MN DHS), Karina Forrest-Perkings (Wayside House), and Gary Oftedahl (Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement). We were honored to have Butler Family Foundation as our planning phase funder to initiate this process.


Other upcoming events in Minnesota about trauma-informed approaches (add your own)!

Contact: Michael Bischoff at michael ‘at’ clarityfacilitation ‘dot’ com or 612-234-1122

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