This fact sheet is a webinar supporting document for the webinar Fostering Community Wellness: Addressing Toxic Stress and Adverse Community Events. This fact sheet follows along with the presentation and includes definitions for stress and trauma with relevant background information, including a discussion of community trauma. Community trauma can be the result of negative social determinants or events that impact the wider community, like a mass shooting or natural disaster.

To promote wellness, the Program to Achieve Wellness encourages supporting resilience in communities through three different tactics. First, community-based organizations that serve traumatized individuals or communities must be culturally responsive. This means they establish secure community connections and support systems for individuals and identify positive opportunities for connecting with others. Second, recognizing strengths and resiliency in individuals will help them to establish their own individual strategies and tools for coping with traumatic stress and empower the individual. Third, encouraging involvement in community action is especially essential when dealing with community trauma, as it helps individuals develop supportive connections and recover.

These three tactics can help behavioral health providers and community-based organizations mitigate the adverse effects of traumatic community events and negative social determinants. Fostering recovery and resiliency at an individual level will promote recovery at a community level.

This resource was first shared in 2018.

(PDF, 158 KB)