Saisha Manan

Date of Award


First Advisor

Eden-Renee Hayes

Second Advisor

Jennifer Daniels


This thesis provides an argument for the benefits of community-based trauma interventions as an accessible form of mental health care. Process evaluations of five narrative-format community-based trauma programs, and five models and guidelines for community-based interventions were conducted, in order to tie together an understanding of clinical foundations of psychological trauma, the resources and capacities inherent within communities to address such trauma, and why trauma is a public health concern. From these evaluations, key points of consideration regarding ecological-fit of community-based trauma interventions for intended populations, both in the culture of such populations and their specific experiences of trauma (also referred to as the culture of trauma) are discussed. Findings indicate patterns of success amongst community-based programs in relying on organically occurring systems of support, assuming the normalcy of a range of traumatic reactions, maintaining methods to ensure agency of survivors, and maintaining methods to ensure real and/or perceived safety of survivors. Shortcomings of these programs and models include a lack of consideration for issues of justice, lack of effort to simultaneously affect policy-level changes, and lack of specialized education regarding trauma for community actors and survivors. Further directions in increasing the holistic approach to trauma in such community-based programs are discussed, including issues of justice and organizational-level policy regarding the experience of and recovery from trauma.

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