Veterans in your housing program may have experienced trauma during or after service. For more information on veteran mental health, refer to chapter three. The following material informs interactions with clients and residents, and we go into more detail on approach to care in chapter six.
- Do not make assumptions about the source of trauma, whether it be pre-service, combat related, military sexual trauma, race-based trauma, post-service, related to lack of housing, or some combination of incidence.
- Always pay attention to ways of establishing trust with a resident. Trauma is a profound loss of control, so consider how you can restore the individuals’ feelings of control in interactions.
- Make sure you think about the role that feelings of helplessness, vulnerability, or of being unsafe might be playing. Discuss what you can do to restore their feeling of being in control.
- It is best to model power-sharing and maintain positive regard in the relationship. Always model a predictable, consistent, and respectful relationship.
Consider trauma in on-site design and safety.
1. Remember you must establish trust and safety.
2. Consider lighting, around-the-clock staffing, security cameras, etc.
3. Individual and cultural aspects of safety are equally important.