What it Means to be Trauma-Informed

Trauma-Resilient Educational Communities (TREC)

The Cost of Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma costs society billions annually

The impact of childhood trauma on society is profound, both economically and socially, through the staggering costs associated with untreated trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). When individuals don't receive the necessary trauma-resilient support and equity-focused treatment, the repercussions ripple through various sectors, from healthcare to social services to law enforcement, placing strain on already burdened systems.

Childhood exposure to trauma costs society $458 billion annually

Penn Today (upenn.edu)

The Benefits of Early Intervention

Investing in trauma-resilient programs reduces long-term societal costs

By redirecting resources towards prevention and early intervention, by investing in programs that promote safe and nurturing environments for children, we can mitigate the long-term effects of trauma, reducing the burden on public systems and fostering healthier communities. Prioritizing mental health services and trauma-resilient care can help address the underlying issues contributing to societal challenges.

Working Together for Change

Collaboration between policymakers, healthcare professionals, & communities is essential

Bureaucratic hurdles block access to treatment services, so they tend to go unused. This leads to adverse outcomes that put stress on public systems like social services and law enforcement. Policymakers, healthcare professionals, and communities need to work collaboratively toward creating supportive environments that prioritize the needs of children and mitigate the lasting effects of childhood trauma.


Implementing comprehensive trauma-resilient programs, ensuring access to mental health services, and promoting equitable treatment and prevention strategies.

Healthcare Professionals

Providing trauma-informed care, advocating for early intervention, and integrating mental health services into routine pediatric care.


Fostering safe, nurturing spaces, promoting awareness of trauma, and supporting local programs that provide mental health and resilience-building services.

Inequities in Trauma Exposure

Some groups are more at risk for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can change the function and structure of the developing brain; and lead to a lifetime of mental, addictive, and physical illnesses. They are the root cause of most of society's most intractable challenges. Total annual costs attributable to ACEs were estimated to be $748 billion in North America. Over 75% of these costs arose in individuals with two or more ACEs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reflects how preventing ACEs could potentially reduce many health conditions. Estimates show up to 1.9 million heart disease cases and 21 million depression cases potentially could have been avoided by preventing ACEs.

Some people are at greater risk of experiencing one or more ACEs than others. While all children are at risk of ACEs, numerous studies show inequities in such experiences. These inequalities are linked to the historical, social, and economic environments in which some families live. ACEs were highest among females, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults, and adults who are unemployed or unable to work.

Mental Health Impact

Preventing ACEs can reduce heart disease, depression, and other health issues

The U.S. Surgeon General's Youth Mental Health Advisory in 2021 reflects that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people, with up to 1 in 5 children ages 3 to 17 in the U.S. with a reported mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder. In 2016, of the 7.7 million children with treatable mental health disorders, about half did not receive adequate treatment.

The U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on Youth Mental Health and Social Media Advisory in 2023 reflects how frequent social media use may be associated with distinct changes in the developing brain in the amygdala (important for emotional learning and behavior) and the prefrontal cortex (important for impulse control, emotional regulation, and moderating social behavior). It could increase sensitivity to social rewards and punishments.

Stress in Education & First Responders

Teachers and principals face high job-related stress and burnout

The revolving door of teacher turnover costs school districts upwards of $2.2 billion a year.

A relatively new nationally representative RAND Corporation survey of 2,360 teachers and 1,540 principals, conducted in January 2022, reflected nearly 3/4 of teachers and 85% of principals are experiencing frequent job-related stress, compared to just a third of working adults. 59% of teachers and forty-eight percent of principals say they’re burned out, compared to 44% of other workers. It's crucial to acknowledge and address the toll that such stress and burnout can take on the well-being of individuals and the effectiveness of educational environments.

A SAMHSA First Responders, Behavioral Health, Emergency Response, Trauma report reflected, examples include exposure (direct or indirect) to death, grief, injury, pain, or loss as well as direct exposure to threats to personal safety, long hours of work, frequent shifts and longer shift hours, poor sleep, physical hardships, and other negative experiences.

The Measurable Impact of Trauma

Annual cost of childhood exposure to trauma

Heart disease cases could have been prevented

Depression cases could have been prevented

Annual cost of teacher turnover

Teachers experience frequent job-related stress

Principals experience frequent job-related stress

Become Trauma-Resilient Certified

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Individual Trauma-Resilient Professional Certification

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Free Consultation

Gain insights and guidance on accreditation requirements and strategies tailored to your school or organization's unique needs in this informative session.

Craig Beswick
Educational Innovator, Trauma-Resilient Professional, TREC Pioneer, and Vice President of School Development

Organizational Accreditation

Free Consultation

Gain insights and guidance on accreditation requirements and strategies tailored to your school or organization's unique needs in this informative session.

Craig Beswick
Educational Innovator, Trauma-Resilient Professional, TREC Pioneer, and Vice President of School Development
UC San Diego, College of Extended Studies
Sharpen - Powering Healthy Minds
PACEs Connection