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Why Trauma-Informed Faith Communities?

Faith-based organizations serve as primary community resources for meaning, purpose, hope, identity, information, structure, and connection. 


Drawing from principles of SAMHSA’s* trauma-informed approach, the Trauma-Informed Faith Communities project provides training, consultation, and resources to help faith communities incorporate trauma awareness into their practice, culture, and policy.

The initial two-year project begins June 15, 2023.

*The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),

a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 


In consultation with faith leaders, the project is creating faith-specific benchmarks so that faith communities may assess their readiness to address individual and community trauma.


The project will assist faith leaders by providing:

  • Response checklists

  • Faith-specific community gathering outlines (e.g. for services and sermons) 

  • Faith-specific resources

  • Communication templates


Building upon numerous successful Crisis Care Ministries webinar series that have drawn more than 6000 attendees in recent years, new trainings begin Fall 2023.


Emotional and spiritual care resources designed especially for general community distribution can be found in a growing collection of curated 

and annotated resources at


The project provides experienced staff from Crisis Care Ministries to consult with faith and community leaders as they plan and implement their early and long-term response to crisis-related emotional and spiritual care needs.


Project partner organizations will receive aggregate data reports from years of data collection regarding the influence and impact of faith leaders in their communities.

  • Click here to take the combined survey: “Where We Turn in Times of Crisis” and “The Influence of Faith and Community Leaders”

Oklahoma endures, on average, a new disaster requiring assistance from outside of the local community about every 12 weeks. Add to this reality the stressors related to high poverty rates, lack of affordable housing, food insecurity, cultural and religious institutional instability, and high exposure to traumatic incidents. Cumulative stresses wear heavily upon our entire state.


The Trauma-Informed Faith Communities project is designed to strengthen the capacity of faith and community leaders to better respond to individuals and communities affected by and at risk for experiencing numerous crises and disasters.

SAMHSA's Trauma-Informed Approach Includes

Four Assumptions

  • Realization about trauma and how it can affect people and groups

  • Recognizing the signs of trauma

  • Having a system which can respond to trauma

  • Resisting re-traumatization

Six Key Principles

  • Safety

  • Trustworthiness and transparency

  • Peer support

  • Collaboration and mutuality

  • Empowerment, voice, and choice

  • Cultural, historical, and gender issues

The list is growing! Check back often!
For more information or to become a project partner contact
Mary Gaudreau Hughes,

Funding Partners

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