Committee Update

Committee Update: The Public Health Committee

Committee Co-Chairs Heather Hall and Michael Salter Presenting 2019 ISSTD Annual Conference

The Public Health Committee was formed in 2021 and grew out of a Board of Directors task force that Michael Salter and Heather Hall spearheaded. The primary deliverable of the task force was to write a paper on the public health implications of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We are happy to report that goal was achieved and we were able to write and publish a paper in the journal Trauma Violence and Abuse entitled Reducing Shame, Promoting Dignity: A Model for the Primary Prevention of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In that paper we highlighted the role societies play, by shaming marginalized communities, in the development of environments that foster traumatic experiences, as well as the role of dignity in creating institutional response that minimizes the socially determined trauma experienced by vulnerable populations.

The task force was then formed into a committee to move the ISSTD into a position to address the public health implications of trauma and dissociation. We have begun work on our initial project – the development of a training module in trauma-informed care that would be provided to organizations that provide services to the public. ISSTD is uniquely positioned to effectively integrate and highlight dissociation and dissociative processes, as well as address themes of shame and dignity, into this trauma-informed care module. These organizations could include community mental health centers, school systems, and police departments. There is hope that we could modify the training to be relevant to organizations outside of the US as well.

We have recruited a talented team of volunteers from ISSTD’s international membership and are moving forward. We plan to submit a proposal to the ISSTD board and CFAS in early 2023. Stay tuned to hear more from us in 2023.