Cultivating Trauma-Informed Organizations and Services for People Living With Disabling Mental Health Conditions
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Expires on Sep 25, 2026
Credit Offered
1 CME Credit
1 Psych CE Credit
1 SW CE Credit
1 COP Credit

Research has uncovered trauma as a core public health concern facing our nation, linking experiences of trauma to mental health conditions, substance use concerns, chronic physical health problems, housing instability, and shortened life expectancy. Additionally, experiencing trauma and victimization increases the risk for developing serious mental health conditions, which in turn increases risk for experiencing additional forms of trauma, including institutional trauma. For marginalized communities, including people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people impacted by poverty, this can be further complicated by experiences of structural violence as well as collective forms of trauma.

This presentation introduces participants to the various forms and effects of trauma, recognizing the effects of trauma in both people accessing care as well as staff and systems, while cultivating multi-dimensional responses to address trauma and prevent re-traumatization. It also highlights evidence-based interventions for the treatment of trauma within the context of co-occurring disabling psychiatric conditions.


Recorded webinar, non-interactive, self-paced distance learning activity with post-test.

This presentation was recorded on September 25, 2020.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify at least five signs or effects of trauma.
  • Interpret symptoms of disabling psychiatric conditions and/or risk behaviors as coping responses that aid in self-protection and survival for survivors of trauma.
  • Identify at least four strategies to reduce the risk of re-traumatization of people accessing mental health care and staff secondary trauma.


  • Trauma
  • Trauma-informed 
  • Trauma-care
  • Q&A

Target Audience

Counselor, Nurse/Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatrist, Physician (non-psychiatric), Physician Assistant, Psychologist, Peer Specialist/Peer Support, Social Worker

Instructional Level


Estimate Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour
Program Start Date: September 25, 2020
Program End Date: September 25, 2026

Ongoing Interdisciplinary Discussion Board

After completing the course, engage with colleagues in the mental health field through SMI Adviser's Webinar Roundtable Topics discussion board. This is an easy way to network and share ideas with other clinicians who participate in this webinar. Access through the discussion tab.

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, CE credit for psychologists, CE credit for social workers, or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course, including viewing the full video (60 minutes) and submitting an evaluation. A multiple-choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 75% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians), CE certificate (psychologists), CE certificate (social workers) or certificate of participation (other disciplines) showing the completion date and hours earned.

Continuing Education Credit


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring event for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The American Psychiatric Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. American Psychiatric Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers 

American Psychiatric Association, provider #1743, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. American Psychiatric Association maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 05/18/2020-05/18/2021 and 05/18/2021-05/18/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.0 (clinical) continuing education credits.

Continuing education requirements vary from state to state. Many state boards grant reciprocity with national accrediting organizations and other state boards. It is the responsibility of each professional to understand the requirements for license renewal or check with the state or national licensing board and/or professional organization to become more familiar with their policies for acceptable continuing education credit. Social workers and Psychologists should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC, is the Director of Policy and Practice for Domestic Violence and Substance Use at National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health as well as faculty at The University of Chicago. Ms. Zapata-Alma provides consultation on trauma-informed policy to advance racial equity at the national level, as well as training and technical assistance related to serving marginalized communities impacted by trauma and other social determinants of health nationally and internationally. Ms. Zapata-Alma reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.


  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, Director of Information & Support, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Brister acts as the patient and family engagement expert for SMI Adviser. Dr. Brister reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Amy N. Cohen, PhD, Director, SMI Adviser, American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Cohen acts as the Program Planner for Psychology Education for SMI Adviser. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Tristan Gorrindo, MD, Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Gorrindo reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Sherin Khan, LCSW, Director of Workforce Development, Thresholds. Ms. Khan acts as the Program Planner for Social Work Education for SMI Adviser. Ms. Khan reports no financial relationships with commercial interests
  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Brister has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 10/17/2023)
  • Amy N. Cohen, PhD, American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Cohen has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 10/4/2023)
  • John Torous, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Torous has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed 9/23/2023)
  • Sherin Khan, LCSW, Thresholds. Ms Khan has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 10/4/2023)

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari
  • Internet Explorer 11+

This website requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

For assistance: Contact for questions about this activity or to obtain information about the APA grievance policy. | Contact for technical assistance

Funding for SMI Adviser was made possible by Grant No. SM080818 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the U.S. Government.
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