New trauma guide to support people with disability

The Morrison Government is backing the development of a best-practice guide to better support people with disability who have experienced complex trauma.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the $267,760 investment means Australia will lead the way in supporting people with disability who have past or present experiences of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation.

“The Morrison Government will fund Blue Knot Foundation to guide organisations and practitioners on how to better understand complex trauma and deliver trauma-informed care to the disability community,” Minister Ruston said.

“This work forms part of Blue Knot’s role in delivering Government-funded counselling support and referral services for people with disability engaging with the Disability Royal Commission through the National Counselling and Referral Service.”

Blue Knot Foundation President Dr Cathy Kezelman AM said positive experiences with support workers, carers and advocates for people with disability was central to minimising additional trauma and fostering trauma recovery and healing.

“People have become much more aware of repeated trauma over the last 20 years. Complex trauma impacts so many people living with disability, directly or indirectly.’ Dr Kezelman said.

“Being trauma-informed is about supporting people to feel and be safe in their interactions with services.

“I am pleased Blue Knot Foundation has the opportunity to develop a trauma-informed guide for people supporting, caring and advocating for people with disability who have experiences of trauma and other complex needs.

“We are particularly looking forward to consulting with diverse representatives from the disability sector to inform the guide.”

Blue Knot Foundation are specialists in complex trauma and have previously published the Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma.

If people need support now and have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation, or are thinking about taking part in the Disability Royal Commission, they can contact the National Counselling and Referral Service run by Blue Knot Foundation.

Contact the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 (9am to 6pm weekdays, and 9am to 5pm weekends and national public holidays).

People who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can contact the service through the National Relay Service (NRS) on 133 677.

People who require support in another language can use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) free of charge by:

  • calling the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468 and asking for an interpreter; or
  • calling TIS National on 131 450 and asking to be connected to the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.

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