Trauma and Toxic Stress Resources for Providers

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Trauma and Toxic Stress Resources for Providers

Below are resources on trauma and toxic stress that providers can use. They include websites with more information about trauma and toxic stress, resources on where to get help, educational videos, and publications on trauma and toxic stress.


Defending Childhood

Building on programs such as Safe Start, the Child Development-Community Policing Program, and the Greenbook Initiative, Defending Childhood leverages existing resources across the Department of Justice to focus on preventing, addressing, reducing, and more fully understanding childhood exposure to violence. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

SAMHSA addresses the impact of trauma on individuals, families, and communities as a behavioral health concern that requires a healing and recovery process. This website provides information, publications and resources about trauma and violence; it also includes SAMHSA’s efforts to address trauma and violence.

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting supports pregnant women and families and helps at-risk parents of children from birth to kindergarten entry tap the resources and hone the skills they need to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.

Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition (ICTC)

The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition is composed of over 80 public and private organizations dedicated to promoting the prevention and treatment of childhood trauma.

Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP)

The Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP) is a statewide group of more than 250 dedicated individuals working together to provide easier access to more effective programs and services that will better meet the mental health needs of all Illinois children and their families.

Heartland Health Outreach

Heartland Health Outreach, the health care arm of Heartland Alliance, is an established leader in providing affordable, high-quality health care to men, women, and children who would otherwise struggle to address basic health needs. Their services include primary care, mental health, oral health, and substance use treatment and services for low-income, homeless, immigrant, and refugee populations throughout the Chicago region.

Look Through Their Eyes

The Look Through Their Eyes campaign was created by the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition to raise awareness among parents and caregivers about childhood trauma and prevention.  Their website includes resources about prevention, identification, and treatment of childhood trauma as well as helpful videos for parents, caregivers, and children.

Center on the Developing Child 

This website provides videos, publications, and “stories from the field,” about ACEs, trauma, and toxic stress.

ACEs Too High

A great website that provides information, training, and resources on Adverse Childhood Experiences.


American Academy of Pediatrics, The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress

Publications on Trauma from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  

Anda RF, Bremner JD, Brown DW, et al. Adverse Childhood Experiences and Prescribed Psychotropic Medications in Adults.  American Journal of Pediatric Medicine, 2007; Volume 32 Issue 5: 389-394.

Anda RF, Chapman DP, Dube SR, Felitti VJ, Giles WH, Williamson DF. Childhood Abuse, Household Dysfunction, and the Risk of Attempted Suicide Throughout the Life Span. Journal of American Medical Association. 2001; 286(24): 3089-3096

Anda RF, Chapman DP, Dube SR, Edwards VJ, Felitti VJ, Whitfield CL. Adverse childhood experiences and the risk of depressive disorders in adulthood. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2004; Volume 82 Issue 2:217-225.

 Anda RF, Croft JB, Dube SR, Fair-weather D, Felitti VJ, Pearson WS. Cumulative Childhood Stress and Autoimmune Diseases in Adults. Psychosis Med. 2012; 71(2): 243-250.

Anda RF, Edwards V, Felitti VJ, et al. Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 1998; Vol 14, Issue 4: 245-258.

 Anda RF, Dube SR, Edwards VJ, Felitti VJ, Gu D. Adverse Childhood Experiences and Smoking Persistence in Adults with Smoking-Related Symptoms and Illness. The Permanente Journal. 2007; 11(2): 5-13.

 Audage NC, Middlebrows JS. The Effects of Childhood Stress on Health Across the Lifespan. Minority Health and Health Equity, 2008.

Epsom S, Gerdtz M, Khaw D, Sands N. Mental Health-Related Risk Factors for Violence: Using the Evidence to Guide Mental Health Triage Decision Making. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 2012; 19(8): 690–701. 

 Eujen A, Freitag CM, Jacob CP. Nature and Nurture Predispose to Violent Behavior: Serotonergic Genes and Adverse Childhood Environment. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2007; 32: 2375-2383.

Finkelhor D, Hamby S, Turner H, Shattuck A. Prevalence of Childhood Exposure to Violence, Crime, and Abuse: Results from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2015.

 Lanius RA, Pain C, Vermetten E. The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease. Cambridge University Press;  2010

Lu W, Jankowski MK, Mueser KT, Rosenberg SD. Correlates of Adverse Childhood Experiences Among Adults With Severe Mood Disorders. Psychiatric Services, 2008; Volume 59 Issue 9: 1018-1026.

 Robertson MJ, Tam TW, Zlotnick C. Longitudinal Perspective: Adverse Childhood Events, Substance Use, and Labor Force Participation Among Homeless Adults. American Journal of Drug and Drug Abuse. 2003; Volume 29 Issue 4: 829-846.


How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime 

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.


Dr. Jamie Marich’s friends and colleagues describe her as a renaissance woman. A dancer, musician, performer, writer and clinical counselor, Marich unites these elements of her experience to achieve an ultimate mission: bringing the art and joy of healing to others. Based in Ohio, Marich is the founder of the Dancing Mindfulness practice, and she actively trains facilitators on using this practice in both clinical and community settings. She is the author of Trauma Made Simple (2014), Creative Mindfulness (2013), Trauma and the Twelve Steps (2012), and EMDR Made Simple (2011). Marich began her career in human services while working as an English teacher in post-war Bosnia; she is fast becoming respected as a voice to listen to in the mental health and addiction recovery communities because of her candidness.

Southland Education and Health Initiative – Part One: An Introduction

Part one in a new series highlighting the emerging work of the Southland Initiative, which focuses on the damaging effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). It wasn’t until a backyard barbecue that siblings Audrey and David Soglin realized they had been grappling with the same problem independently for years. Their collaboration would form a unique connection between healthcare and education, and the initiative has grown to include several key partners from across the state. At the center of the initiative are three areas of focus: primary care, psychological & emotional health and parent support & education.

Like a Footprint in Wet Cement

This plenary session details the impact of childhood trauma throughout the life cycle including its correlation with hundreds of medical and mental health conditions including substance abuse. The workshop better equips attendees in recognizing and responding to these signs of trauma.

PBS: How Does the ‘Toxic Stress’ of Poverty Hurt the Developing Brain? 

A growing body of research shows that the stress of growing up in poverty can have long-term effects on children’s brains and cognitive development. How can so-called “toxic stress” be prevented? NewsHour’s Megan Thompson reports in our latest story from the continuing public media series “Chasing the Dream.” Thompson is currently a fellow with the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism program.