Suicide Crisis — Trauma Informed Care

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Soothing colors, a welcoming atmosphere, and calming white noise. When talking about trauma-informed care, the counselors at Freeman Health System’s Will’s Place pay extra attention to settings to help their adolescent clients heal.

That’s our next part of our series — The Suicide Crisis: Prevention, Information, and Awareness.

Wendy Myers, Freeman Will’s Place Clinical Operations Manager, “Help them feel secure and safe, and feel like they can get treatment. That they can get better.”

The trauma-informed care approach at Freeman Health System’s Will’s Place aims to help soothe its young clients.

“Keeping the client in mind, their experiences they’ve gone through in life, and being aware of that whenever they walk in the front door.”

That includes everything from sounds, smells, and their whole surrounding.

“They come in here and they’re comfortable. They can sit in a nice chair. They know what to expect, that’s a constant. And that helps them through their process of treatment.”

A client’s background may have been loud and stressful — so they’ll walk into a more calming, quieter environment which includes muted colors.

“You can see some of the colors in the offices are muted and standard through the offices. We’re all kind of this blue and cream colors to be muted.”

Will’s place has even gone as far as to lower windows so children can see out, and lower artwork so children can enjoy the sights.

“There aren’t pictures that are way up high on the wall. Some of them might be a little lower, and so, there’s toys, there’s things they can interact with.”

It’s all about making the young client feel comfortable about discussing their past trauma.

“Making this a safe, peaceful environment for them to come into can really make it helpful and calming and feel safe and secure. Because a lot of times, they may have come from environments that aren’t safe and secure.”

Will’s place then becomes a soothing place where kids can heal.

“We’re always asking from the first initial intake, if someone’s gone through trauma and what that trauma looked like to them, and then how we can help. So, definitely, we keep trauma at the forefront of our minds.”

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