May Newsletter

May is Trauma Awareness Month

On October 17, 2018, Governor John Carney signed Executive Order 24 making Delaware a trauma informed state. In his order, Governor Carney established May as Trauma Awareness Month.  Last May, the initial Trauma Awareness month was celebrated with a kick off conference, recognition of trauma champions across the state and a variety of events and activities. Because of COVID-19, state agencies and community organizations are pivoting to provide trauma informed learning activities virtually. Trauma Matters Delaware and Social Contract are facilitating lunch and learn opportunities throughout May to celebrate Trauma Awareness month. These include:

  • May 7th at 12 PM: State of the State on Trauma in Delaware

Hear from First Lady Carney as she shares the progress of trauma work in Delaware since Governor John Carney signed Executive Order 24, to make Delaware a Trauma-Informed state.

  • May 13th at 12 PM: A call to action:  COVID’s Impact on the mental health landscape, and what we can do about it

In this session, we relay key findings from a COVID related “ad hoc” working group formed to identify unmet needs and gaps in our mental health landscape that have emerged as a result of COVID-19.  In response to what trauma/ mental health leaders are seeing right now on the ground, and also what we are anticipating will emerge as a result of increased stress due to prolonged uncertainty and financial stress, we outline areas where we can collaborate and make progress as a sector committed to advancing mental health and trauma-informed care.  On this webinar, we will share the top priority areas and strategies outlined by this team and will ask for the support of the broader community to aid in these efforts. 

  • May 20th at 12 PM: Cultivating Our Resilience: Strategies for Those on The Front Line

This interactive webinar will discuss the concepts, signs of, and risks for primary, secondary, and vicarious trauma and practical strategies and resources to build resilience for front line workers across a variety of service sectors.  Participants will have the chance to discuss opportunities and challenges for maintaining resilience in the context of COVID19.

  • May 27th at 12 PM: Building Community Resilience: One Voice At a Time

As Delaware adapts to living with the impact of COIVD19, we must turn our attention to communities that are being disproportionately affected.  It is important that those communities have a voice in shaping the process of being made whole.  We must also give voice to the many community healers and practices that currently lay the foundation for increased resilience.   This panel discussion will explore the realities of trauma from the lens of the community.  We will also affirm the often overlooked ways that communities create spaces for wholeness.

To register, click this link:


Supporting Communities Impacted by COVID-19: Mini-Grant Opportunity

Activate community-driven mental health supports

As a response to the unprecedented COVID-19 endemic in Delaware, we recognize that communities across our state are unique, with personalized needs and support. Although every community is different, we know low-income communities, communities of color, the elderly and those with disabilities are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to health concerns, job loss, and other compounding factors. During these trying times, Trauma Matters Delaware (TMD) is focused on empowering communities with the tools and resources needed to support each other. 

As a result, TMD will grant between 5-10 Community Mini-Grants between $500 and $1,000 for the purpose of activating community-led mental health, wellness, and resilience initiatives. Click here to submit an application. From Trauma Aware to Trauma Informed: A Blueprint for a Trauma Informed Delaware Released

Social Contract is a Delaware not-for-profit organization that partners with government, philanthropic and community leaders interested in solving social challenges and leveraging collective impact. Social Contract conducted a series of community conversations on what is needed for Delaware to successfully adopt and sustain trauma informed approaches for individuals, communities and organizations. The result of those conversations were compiled into “From Trauma Aware to Trauma Informed”. The blueprint outlines seven key stakeholder recommendations and highlights four action steps including:

  1. The activation of a collective impact model to support Delaware’s trauma landscape
  2. Change management processes of organizations, agencies, and institutions as they embark on their journey to become trauma-informed
  3. Healing initiatives that are culturally-relevant and community-driven
  4. The cultivation of Delaware’s future trauma-informed workforce through the celebration of trauma-informed champions

To read the blueprint click here:

COVID Resources

In each edition of the newsletter, we’ll be sharing resources to support individuals and communities. In this edition we would like to highlight these:

Did you know that our Delaware Public Libraries installed equipment to strengthen the wireless signal in most public library parking lots to offer FREE Wi-Fi hotspots? For a map of library locations, click here: 

Looking for suggestions on building children’s resilience? Check out this fact sheet from Child Trends which highlight five strategies and also provides links to additional resources for building resilience:


Each edition of the newsletter will highlight a person, community, agency or organization that embodies the principles of a trauma-informed approach including safety, trustworthiness and transparency, peer support, collaboration, mutuality and empowerment and choice, and cultural, historical, and gender issues. 

This edition will give a shout out to the medical staff of Christiana Care, through the reflections of Navin Vij, MD, who is a Senior Clinical Investigator in the Value Institute and an Internal Medicine Hospitalist at Christiana Care Health System. In his role with the Value Institute, Dr. Vij is focused on improving health disparities through system and community based interventions addressing social determinants.

Here are some of his reflections about the importance of safety, peer support, collaboration, and cultural issues at his work site, and how resilience depends on social connections: 

“By early March, we at Christiana Care recognized that Covid-19 was something we were going to EXERIENCE.  We immediately began the conversation of what this will mean in terms of how we provide care, how we respond to the social determinants of EVERYONE in our community, and how we, the service providers with our own social and health issues, experience this pandemic.

We are all in this together AND some people are experiencing the pandemic in especially difficult ways, such as people who are living in the streets, people in prisons, etc., are always on my mind. 

Research has convinced me that we must always think about the human perspective and how can we ensure safety.  Being connected means having real connections, and you can’t be resilient without the circle of connections around you.  The Christiana Care approach is a community approach, and I see it every day with formal and informal connections.  

We are all part of the EXPERIENCE, and it is often in the experience of many small moments, when we check in with one other and with others, that strengthens that circle of connectedness.  

Disinfecting our clothing, and cleansing our physical bodies is something we do after a long day at work, but cleansing ourselves of the worries we may bring home is more difficult without strong social supports.” 

Other articles you might be interested in:
Hoops for Healing and Humility

In partnership with Trauma Awareness Month’s emphasis on Belonging and slogan “You Belong,” the board of directors of Trauma Matters Delaware (TMD)...

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Often Overlooked: Elder Abuse

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A Trauma-Informed Framework for Higher Education

What does a trauma-informed (TI) approach look like in higher education? Debra L. Berke presented this framework and accompanying guide created to assist...

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