Recommended Readings

Below is a selection of 10 key resources on trauma-informed care for women in a Canadian context. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather serve as an introduction and overview of key issues and perspectives. If you are interested in a more complete listing of grey and academic literature, please contact the BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health.

For full versions of academic research articles not available on-line, we encourage you to e-mail requests for electronic reprints (e.g., text files, PDFs, faxed copies) to the lead author.

1. Ad Hoc Working Group on Women Mental Health Mental Illness and Addictions. (2006). Women, Mental Health and Mental Illness and Addiction in Canada: An Overview. Winnipeg, MN: Canadian Women’s Health Network and the Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health.

This report describes how important sex and gender based analysis is, for mental health and addictions policy in Canada, and includes a number of information sheets on the intersections among women’s substance use, mental health and experience of trauma and violence.

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2. Haskell, L. (2003). First stage trauma treatment: A guide for mental health professionals working with women. Toronto, ON, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

In this book, Dr. Haskell describes for clinicians the consequences of trauma on women’s physical and mental health, and specifics on how and when to deliver first-stage trauma treatment. Each part of the book is available for download, and ordering information is provided.

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3. Hiebert-Murphy, D. W., Lee (2000)."A model for working with women dealing with child sexual abuse and addictions: The Laurel Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 18(4): 387-394.

The authors describe the clinical model for providing integrated and trauma-informed treatment for women at the Laurel Centre in Manitoba.

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4. Klinic Community Health Centre (2008) This guidebook offers general guidelines for trauma-informed practice to assist service providers to increase their capacity in delivering trauma-informed services. It can be downloaded in PDF format or ordered from the publisher.

The Trauma-informed Toolkit »

5. Lavallee, L. F. and J. M. Poole (2010)."Beyond recovery: Colonization, health and healing for Indigenous people in Canada." International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction 8(2): 271-281.

The healing practices of Indigenous people in Canada are profound and holistic, and the recovery process for them must take history, healing practices and the effects of colonization into account. The authors argue that we must expand our limited notions of recovery and practice as it pertains to the health of Indigenous people.

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6. Schacter, C. L., Stalker, C. A., Teram, E., Lasiuk, G. C., Danilkewich, A., (2008). Handbook on sensitive practice for health care practitioner: Lessons for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Ottawa, Public Health Agency of Canada.

This downloadable handbook presents information designed to help health care practitioners practice in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and other types of interpersonal violence (not gender specific). It outlines nine principles for working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse in primary care settings are described by these practitioners.

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7. Van Ameringen, M. M., Catherine; Patterson, Beth; Boyle, Michael H., (2008). "Post-traumatic stress disorder in Canada." CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 14(3): 171-181.

Researchers in this study interviewed over 2991 men and women across the country about traumatic events they had experienced and symptoms of PTSD. As in studies done in the U.S., they found that women are more likely to develop PTSD following a traumatic event and that the most traumatic of events for both men and women is sexual assault. VanAmeringen et al. provide prevalence rates and information by gender that is specific to Canada.

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8. Van Wyk, L. and N. Bradley (2007). A braided recovery: Integrating trauma programming at a women's substance use treatment centre. Highs and lows: Canadian perspectives on women and substance use. N. Poole and L. Greaves. Toronto, ON, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

This chapter describes the stages of integrating a trauma-informed approach to women’s substance use treatment taken the Jean Tweed Centre in Toronto.

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9. Waldron, I. R. G. and K. McKenzie (2008). Re-conceptualizing "trauma": Examining the mental health impact of discrimination, torture and migration from racialized groups in Toronto. K. McKenzie. Across Boundaries, Toronto.

In this report, the authors make the case for using a broader trauma lens to view the emotional and physical distress of Canadians including ongoing racism, immigration, social inequality and exclusion, and discrimination. They offer specifics for improving client support and service delivery.

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10. Wesley-Esquimaux, C. C. and A. Snowball (2010). "Viewing violence, mental illness and addiction through a wise practices lens." International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction 8(2): 390-407.

The authors state that Aboriginal healing models have been largely dismissed by the health care system. Wesley-Esquimaux and Snowball present the “wise practices” model of healing, which is based on sacred Aboriginal values, and argue that it should sit alongside “best practices” model. Recovering and using traditional healing traditions will return strength and self-efficacy to Aboriginal people.

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