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GELS: Growing Equitable Library Services

What are trauma informed services

Trauma informed services shifts focus from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?" All departments of a library are people facing. Those people may be adult patrons, children, families, board members, mayors, or staff members. Approaching conversations with a trauma informed lens can help to connect with people in new ways, de-escalate a situation when necessary, and act as a reminder that altercations may not need to be taken personally.  

The slides below are from a four-part workshop series by Patrick Lloyd who spent years working as a social worker in public libraries in Texas. Librarians are not social workers or trained to handle moments when a mental health professional is needed, yet as institutions that pride themselves on serving all members of the public, what we can do is educate ourselves on the possible responses to interactions that we see on a daily basis. A particular interaction may be informed by a person's past experiences, and with a trauma informed approach, we can respond in a way appropriate to a library setting.

Patrick Lloyd: The Mending Library, Serving Vulnerable and Traumatized Patrons

Libraries and Social Workers

Librarians are not social workers yet the two are prime for partnership opportunities. 

988, Youth and Adult Mobile Crisis Service

What number do you call when you need police, fire or emergency medical services? You call 911. But, when you have an emotional or mental health crisis, which number do you call? Starting July 2022 all you’ll need to do is call 988 anywhere in the United States. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is moving to a direct three-digit call/text and chat service that will help millions of Americans of all ages access support and services when experiencing any emotional and mental health crisis, not only thoughts of suicide. This 988 service will help end stigma toward those seeking or accessing mental healthcare, and will ensure that someone experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis has someone to talk to, someone to respond, and somewhere to go. It will also reduce the use of law enforcement and other safety resources for these types of crises, and reduce healthcare spending with more cost-effective early intervention. The CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will provide an overview of youth and adult mobile emergency crisis services available to CT residents.

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