In 2013 Trillium Family Services, Oregon’s largest provider of mental and behavioral healthcare for children and families, began the powerful journey of learning deeply about Trauma Informed Care and the relationship between individual and organizational trauma inherent in all human systems. Early on, Trillium’s board and leadership were looking for an organizing principle that would provide a stronger philosophical foundation, and a model that aligned clinical practice with organizational functioning across the board.
Trillium’s leadership and board found what they were seeking in Sanctuary and are currently pursuing certification in this internationally-recognized clinical and organizational model. Sanctuary takes into account the effects of trauma and modern life stress on brain functioning and moves our orientation away from a deficit based model that asks “What’s wrong with you?” to a model of understanding that asks “What happened to you?” Ultimately, Sanctuary is a way of being – organizationally, interpersonally and individually – that stresses physical, emotional, social and moral safety. It begs the question, “Are you ready to commit to a different way of being in your life, your relationships and your work?”
After a year of immersion in this work, the organization began to see Sanctuary as the basis for a true social movement; something that should be shared and experienced broadly, and a model that could transform systems of care, school systems, neighborhoods and entire communities. Trillium was excited by the potential Sanctuary presented for creating real social change so that our communities are safe and nurturing environments for all of us to live, work, play and learn. Our intent is not to strategically position any one organization but to create deep and lasting change in Oregon.
Committing to Sanctuary and its seven core commitments of Growth and Change, Open Communication, Democracy, Nonviolence, Emotional Intelligence, Social Learning and Social Responsibility can build environments of safety and resilience that better equip individuals, organizations, systems and communities to manage issues that get in the way of physical, emotional, social and moral safety. The model provides tools that help organizations and systems understand and respond to the effects of vicarious traumatization that takes place in the helping professions and the traumatic transactions that occur in our everyday lives.
What would Oregon look like if thought leaders, organizational leaders from the social purpose sector, corporate leaders, and community leaders came together to commit to a different way of being and behaving in a collective manner? How would it impact our schools, service systems, neighborhoods and communities? What would be the outcome of a community-wide and comprehensive embracing of the seven Sanctuary commitments? We think the possibilities are endless, and the knocking at the door for solutions in a world filled with hurting people is too loud to ignore.
Keep Oregon Well is a partnership between Trillium Family Services and an army of community leaders and celebrity talent, working to fight stigma and build new narratives around mental and behavioral health.
The time is now. Join us.
Oregon Community Sanctuary Coalition
Of Oregon’s approximately 3.9 million residents, close to 137,000 adults and about 39,000 children live with serious mental health conditions. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 in 5 Americans struggle with their mental health and about 5% of Americans have suffered from such severe mental illness that it interfered with day-to-day school, work or family.
Since 2014, Keep Oregon Well has been working to create real social change in collaboration with leaders and organizations across the region so that our many diverse communities become safe and nurturing environments for all people to live, work, play and learn.
During October and November of 2014, we convened two community gatherings – one in Portland and one in Corvallis – called “Moving Toward Sanctuary: An Oregon Community Forum”. Representatives from state and local government, educational institutions, healthcare systems, social services and the business community gathered with local thought leaders and Trillium representatives to discuss what our state could look like and accomplish if we were to collectively become a trauma-informed community. Over 100 community leaders attended the events in all.
In March 2015, we held a 3rd community forum, this time focused on poverty, called “Moving Toward Sanctuary: Transition to Success”. The forum featured Dr. Marcella Wilson, who created the Transition to Success model in Detroit, the first evidence-based practice for treating poverty like a medical condition.
“The community forums helped increase my awareness about the capacity we have in Oregon to do good when we come together,” said Kim Scott, Trillium Family Services CEO & President. “They rekindled hope about our ability to make Oregon a safe, healthy place for all children and families, and this is just the beginning. Trillium is committed to engaging on this level with all voices in communities across the region.”
To learn more, or to get involved with Oregon’s Community Sanctuary Coalition, contact Logan Lynn at LLynn@TrilliumFamily.org