Erasmus+ Project on
Trauma-Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environemnts
2019 - 2022
In 2018, as Sophia and Midlands Simon worked with our partners in SMES Europa to publish a front-line manual of best practices to support people who were experiencing homelessness and also had mental health support needs. Many conversations were had on trauma and its effects on those we support. This project was borne out of those conversations and the research conducted throughout SMES Europa’s Dignity and Well-Being project.
Sophia was delighted to be chosen to lead the Erasmus+ Project on Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments. We are committed to not just learning about trauma and its impact but to becoming truly trauma informed organisations and this project is key to that process.
Numerous studies have been conducted that have highlighted the effectiveness of Trauma Informed Care and Psychological Informed Environments in the support of people who are Homeless and have Mental Health support needs.This project recognises that to achieve this with reference to Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments it is necessary to meet the skills and knowledge needs of organisations, staff and service users. This involves collaborating with best practice providers across Europe, to learn and develop trauma informed organisations.
This project will focus on the following key areas:
1. Introduction to Psychologically Informed Environments and Trauma Informed Care
2. Application of PIE and TIC in the practical context
3. Challenges and to be met with applying PIE and TIC
This project aims to exchange best practices in how TIC and PIE are understood, applied and how to overcome the challenges in applying them to create organisational cultures of care, safety, and respect for staff and service users.
The most visible evidence of the most socially excluded in European Society are those who are homeless and living on the street.
While it is difficult to get an exact number of homeless people across the EU, recent estimates point to 4 million people experiencing homeless each year in Europe and that 400,000 of these people sleep on the streets of European cities every night.
Around 30% of the homeless population of Europe has a severe mental health support need. The average rate of severe mental health problems in non-homeless populations is on average, 6% . So if you are homeless in Europe today you are five times more likely to have a mental health support need.
Homeless people have worse physical and emotional health status than the general population, including those who reside in areas of high deprivation. Chronic homelessness is characterised by tri-morbidity, meaning they are more likely to suffer from mental ill health, physical ill health and substance misuse, and at the same time less likely to access the support they need.
The WHO European Mental Health plan was adopted by the EU in 2005. It stated that the promotion of mental health and the prevention and treatment of mental disorders are fundamental to safeguarding and enhancing the quality of life, well-being and productivity of individuals, families, workers and communities, thus increasing the strength and resilience of society as a whole.
However even within this document the only direct reference to homelessness and mental heath is a direction for member states to: Offer special outreach programmes in areas with a high prevalence of risk populations such as poor minority groups or homeless people. While this is an important intervention as a solution it will not prevent or address the needs of the most social excluded in our society.
The Lisbon Declaration, and Housing for All both commit to eliminating homelessness by 2030. Sophia believes that central to this is ensuring this is that all homeless services are Trauma Informed.
By bringing together a wide network of organisations who have expertise in homeless provision and mental health support this project directly helps to support people who are the most socially excluded in Europe. Ensuring that the emerging and current best practices in Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments are used by the staff and services that support them.
Caritas Archidiecezji Warszawskiej Poland
SMES Europa Brussels
CHPL Centro Hospitalar Psiquiatrico De Lisboa Portugal
Coordinamento Toscano Marginalità ODV Italy
Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health
Panayiotis Sakellaropoulos Greece
Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona
Project UDENFOR Denmark
Sophia's collaborative partner Midlands Simon Community is also a partner in this project.
Seminar 1 - Cork Ireland
Sophia with it's partners across Europe is holding a seminar in Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments in Nano Nagle Place, Cork from Monday the 8th of November to Wednesday the 10th of November 20210
The even will have very limited in person attendance however all presentations will be available to attend as a webinar
Programme Of Events
Dr Sharon Lambert
Dr Lambert is a member of staff at the School of Applied Psychology in University College Cork. She has years of experience providing supports to marginalised groups.
Dr Lambert’s research interests revolve primarily around the impact of trauma on development, its link with substance dependence and mental health and consequent considerations for service design and delivery. Her research looks at both primary psychological trauma (Adverse Childhood & Community Experiences) and secondary traumatic stress.
Dr Lambert is a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland, Silent Voices Advisory Group and was appointed to the statutory Parole Board by the Minister for Justice.
Dr Lambert has made her research and knowledge extremely accessible and has even been interview by Blind Boy Boat Club on his podcast. We were delighted to have her with us at our Trauma Informed Care Seminar.
Dr Peter Cockersell
Dr Cockersell is a Psychotherapist, Trainer, and Organisational Consultant specialising in interventions with people experiencing homelessness and other forms of social exclusion, histories of compound trauma, and ‘complex needs’.
He is one of the co-authors of the UK national guidance on Psychologically Informed Environments, published in 2011 and is the Editor of Social Exclusion, Compound Trauma and Recovery Applying Psychology, Psychotherapy and PIE to Homelessness and Complex Needs.
That book was a particular inspiration for this project, as Victor Soto Malet introduced it to many people in in SMES Europa and began the process of applying for Erasmus Funding.
Dr Cockersell gave a webinar as part of this project in October of 2020 available to view HERE we were delighted to have him back to present in person at our Trauma Informed Care event in Cork.
Dr Brian McClean
Dr. Brian McClean. Dr McClean is a Principal Clinical Psychologist with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland. Dr. McClean qualified as a Clinical Psychologist from the University of Surrey in 1989.
In 1994, he founded The Callan Institute for Behaviour Support and developed it as a national consultation and training agency.
In 2001, he established a Behaviour Support Service in Co. Roscommon, which supported community living and real lifestyles for people with behaviour support needs.
Gary Broderick is the manager of the SAOL Project, Ireland’s first ‘women only’ addiction service. He has managed the service since 2008. Before that he worked as manager of Ana Liffey Drugs Project (a street drugs agency) and also worked as an addiction counsellor with the Health Board and as a volunteer with Merchants’ Quay Project.
He lectures in addiction with UCD (Social Work masters), Maynooth University (Youth and Community and Social Policy) and DCU (School of Nursing).
Arising from his work with women who use substances, he has developed a keen interest in Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) and has implemented TIP in SAOL and has spoken as several conferences on this topic and the practical issues connected with implementing this essential philosophy.
He has published article’s with Dr Hilda Loughran on his work with UCD Social Work students and the SAOL Project in “From service-user to social work examiner: not a bridge too far” (2017, Journal of Social Work Education) and in ‘The Routledge Handbook of Service User Involvement in Human Services Research and Education’ (Ed McLaughlin et al, 2021).
Dr Judith Butler
Dr Judith Butler is a researcher and lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Munster Technological University. Dr Butler supervises postgraduate research and is currently involved in trauma research. Judith’s research interests include; the social domain of children’s development and in particular, social competence, relationships and the impact of positive and adverse childhood experiences on children and their families. She is an Editor of An Leanbh Óg: The Irish Journal of Early Childhood Studies.
Her insight into the impact of trauma on children, their education and development was a most welcome addition to the seminar and we were delighted she was available to present at the seminar.
Sandra O'Meara and Denise Cahill
Denise Cahill is the Healthy Cities Coordinator in Cork City. She has worked as a researcher in the area of Public Health and has been employed in the area of health promotion for the past 20 years. Denise has works at City Level to support the development of partnerships between and among the community, voluntary and statutory sectors in the area of health promotion.
Sandra O’Meara Cork City Council. Community, Culture & Placemaking) She is a Rapid Co-ordinator and Social, Economic and Environmental Manager and has been focusing on the Community Response Form for Cork city, ensuring those who need support during Covid are linked into their local services. Sandra coordinates the Trauma Sensitive City
Dr Anna Marie Naughton
Dr Anna Marie Naughton has been a GP for over 15 years and has been working with Adult Homeless Integrated Team in Cork (AHIT) since 2014. The AHIT is a multidisciplinary team focussed on providing vital services to isolated and secluded individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Dr Naughton was a member of the team that carried out a research with Dr Sharon Lambert and Cork Simon Communities on Adverse Childhood Experiences / childhood trauma
Seminar 2 - Lisbon Portugal
June 28th - July 1st 2022
Centrao Hospitalar de Lisboa with it's partners across Europe is held the second seminar in Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments in Lisbon from the 28th of June 2022 until the 1st of July 2022.
The event allowed people with lived experience to participate in all talks allowing for including and insight that added greatly to the programme and to the learning of all particpants.
Programme of Events
Seminar 3 - Florence Italy
November 8th to 11th 2022
Coordinamento Toscano Marginalitá with it's partners across Europe is held the second seminar in Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments in Florence from the 8th of November 2022 until the 12th of November 2022.
The 4 day event also included a visit to a number of services supporting people who are homeless in Rome, specifically services beside the city train station. Workshops and feedback sessions were held with the teams of the services in staff