Collective Trauma Toolkit: Respond Effectively as an Organization

Collective Trauma Toolkit


  • Stacey M. Boyer, PsyD
  • Kathryn M. Godfrey, PhD
  • Vanessa Downing, PhD

See the toolkit PDF for complete author listing information.

This Toolkit:

  1. Outlines approaches for organizational communication and education in response to large-scale crises
  2. Identifies individual and organizational interventions in the face of collective trauma
  3. Illustrates the CARE approach as an iterative process

Collective Trauma Toolkit

Respond effectively as an organization to health care worker collective trauma.

Trauma in health care settings can take various forms. Individual trauma includes physical and psychological forms, whereas collective trauma impacts an entire group or groups of people.

Resilience is the ability to recover from traumatic events. Health care workers demonstrate tremendous personal resilience in demanding, high‑risk, and trauma‑laden environments. Individual factors such as social supports, resources, or mental health history may prompt a continuum of responses in health care workers.

Historically, health care organizations have promoted self‑care and dedicated resources to build individual resilience. However, responding to collective trauma necessitates organizational efforts that target not just individual caregivers but also teams and the organization as a whole. Organizational resilience refers to the ability of organizations to anticipate, plan for, respond to, and learn or grow from adversity. Organizational resilience involves large‑scale operations, strategic initiatives, and decision‑making that can influence the response and health of the organization and the teams and individuals impacted through the provision of and access to resources, relationship building, and communication.

This Toolkit provides actionable STEPS, practical tools, and supporting resources to help your organization respond effectively to collective trauma, now and in the future.

Learn how to respond effectively to collective trauma as an organization with the complete Toolkit PDF.

Practical tools

This Toolkit includes 6 practical tools to help your organization respond effectively to collective trauma. Check out the complete Toolkit PDF to see how these tools fit into the 6 STEPS to address health care worker collective trauma as an organization, or click on the links below for immediate access to each tool:

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