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EU Trauma Informed Care Project

Sophia is the lead partner in an Erasmus+ project on Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) in homeless services. The project was officially launched by Mairead McGuinness then an MEP but subsequently was appointed the Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union, preserving and improving financial stability in 2020.

The project will hold three seminars and workshops on TIC and PIE, the first of which took place in Cork in October 2021, the second took place in Lisbon last week, hosted by, Hospital Júlio de Matos, Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa, in Portugal (CHPL). The hospital is a major public Psychiatric Hospital in Lisbon and has been an innovator in supports provided to its patients but also the people who are experiencing homelessness across the city. Their multidisciplinary team work with the Local Authority, NGOs and many other stakeholders to provide supports to those with severe mentally illness and who are living on the streets.

The Second Seminar on TIC and PIE, brought together a wide ranging number of speakers, and site visits that gave an insight into how to provide services that are trauma and psychologically informed.

While there were many highlights in the programme, Laura Tomlinson from Children and War-UK gave insights on how they have been teaching recovery techniques, through a cascade model to reach more children who have been impacted by trauma. A model that would be highly adaptable to help families in Ireland.

Marta Borges, from 144, spoke about how trauma informed practice was essential when helping people who call a national emergency phone number. What stood out are the innovative approaches to having a psychologically informed environment, by making supports accessible through drama, books and dance. The importance of participation was evident throughout the week, with service users engaging with speakers and also highlighting their own recovery process.

It was great to see how the national homeless strategy tied in with the local providers from Henrique Joaquim and Paulo Santos. Paulo also brought the group to visit a new emergency accommodation service and how they are providing the services and supports that people not just need but have asked for all through a trauma and harm reduction lens.

The final seminar of the project will take place later this year in Florence.

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