Springs Staff Scoop February 2022

If you have any tips, news, or content that you would like to see in the Springs Staff Scoop, please feel free to email Stephanie Keister.

Trauma Informed Care

by Megan Baker, Clinician – Aspen & Jackie Skramstad, Clinical Operations Manager

We’ve all heard of trauma-informed care; but what exactly does it look like? We tend to think of it as improving client care and outcomes and that is one element of trauma informed care. Trauma-informed care is also about promoting the health and wellness of our staff. In order to be trauma informed, we must understand how prevalent trauma is. A majority of the clients seeking treatment have been exposed to trauma and many staff members have their own trauma histories. Every one of us in the organization can be exposed to the secondary trauma expressed in the stories and behaviors of those around us.  It is important that we all are able to see the signs when a client or staff member is being impacted by trauma and that we all work together to create an environment that is safe and healing.

The six principles of trauma-informed care help us think about how we can contribute to a safe and healing environment.

  1. Safety: Throughout the organization, patients and staff feel physically and psychologically safe.
  2. Trustworthiness and transparency: Decisions are made with transparency and with the goal of building and maintaining trust.
  3. Peer support: Individuals with shared experiences are integrated into the organization and are viewed as integral to service delivery.
  4. Collaboration: Power difference between staff and client and among organizational staff are leveled to support shared decision-making.
  5. Empowerment: Patient and staff strengths are recognized, built on, and validated. This includes a belief in resilience and a belief in the ability to heal from trauma.
  6. Humility and responsiveness: Biases and stereo types, for example based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, geography, and historical trauma are recognized and addressed.

Our hope is to continue discussing trauma- informed care and wellness for staff, as well as think about our collective responsibility to create a safe and healing environment.

Do you have an example of trauma-informed care?  If you have questions or an example of trauma-informed care please email Jackie Skramstad and Megan Baker. We look forward to your input into our regular Springs Staff Scoop column.

NEW! Eloops Website

Eloops logo

For those who have requested that Eloops be available via website (versus just a phone application) – your request has been heard!  An Eloops website is now available:

  • Visit Web.eloops.com
  • Enter your invitation code: Mindsprings
  • Enter your work email and your password

This comes just in time as Peer Specialist Brian Bretton gets ready to toss a pie in the face of Circle/WRC Program Director Megan Navarro on Thursday, March 3!

Mind Springs Health 50th Anniversary logo

February PTO Winner

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mind Springs Health, one employee per month will be picked (via a random drawing) to receive a paid day off (to be used within 8 weeks of the date it’s awarded).  February’s winner of a paid day off is Maranda Wolter, Recovery Case Manager in Grand Junction!

March Fun Days to Celebrate 50th Anniversary!

Fat Tuesday illustration
Chips n Dip illustration

Tuesday, March 1
Fat Tuesday

Wear colorful beads, as well as traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold.  And Jeans!

Friday, March 4
Employee Appreciation Day

Supervisors – Let your employees know why you value them!

Thursday, March 10
National Pack Your Lunch Day

Sure – You pack your lunch all the time.  Today, try to not eat at your desk, but join a co-worker for lunch.

Thursday, March 17
St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for the Irish! Wear green and shamrocks today.  And Jeans!

Wednesday, March 23
National Chip ‘n Dip Day

Bring your favorite dips to share!  And wear jeans!

Wednesday, March 30
National Walk in the Park Day

Walk off last week’s dip by taking a group walk at a local park during lunch or after work.  Be comfy, wear jeans!

Leprechaun illustration
Cultural Engagement Team logo

Join the Cultural Engagement Team!

Are you interested in helping our organization become more diverse and knowledgeable about equality and equity within our communities?

Please join the next CET meeting on March 23, 2022

OR  . . .

Are you interested in sharing an experience or something you have learned? Write a DEI piece for the Springs Staff Scoop!

As an incentive, you will be awarded with Eloops Fun-Nominal Funds! If you have any questions about the CET, please outreach Dr. Amy Gallagher.  

Upcoming DEIB Opportunities:

Growing our HEARTS Learning Summit

Join the Aurora Mental Health Center DEI Council for a virtual, five-part series (April – May) about anti-oppression and skill building.

Click HERE for details.


The Colorado Trust Health Equity Learning Series

Join the Colorado Trust for an opportunity to deepen your understanding of class, race, and health equity through a pre-recorded talk by Professor Ian Haney Lopez, along with a facilitated community conversation.

March 15 – 5-8 p.m.

Click HERE for details.

How Does Language Interact with DEI?

By Norma Roberts, VP of Human Resources

Language is a key element of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and can either help or hinder efforts. Language is the primary tool for expression and communication, and helps us share with others and identify ourselves. Further, language, as both the source and essence of a culture, is one of the defining categories used to characterize culture. Culture teaches us how to think, communicate with others, and perceive others.

Language and culture play a big role in how we, and others, perceive the world. Language also affects human thoughts. Thus, language is the bridge for either building relationships or the tool for creating and maintaining divisions across differences.

In order to promote DEI, we must be literate in the same language. We must use a common vocabulary to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. We must understand others’ socio-cultural factors and learn to approach people from their cultural viewpoint. Mastering the nuances of language means being able to understand people who (more than likely) grew up with an entirely different set of values and beliefs. We must open ourselves up to these differences.

This seems fairly straight forward, however, it can be complicated. There are two opposing views on whether language affects how we think. It is widely thought that reality and how one perceives the world is expressed in spoken words. That is, perception and expression are understood to be synonymous. It is assumed that speech is based on thoughts; whereby, what one says depends on how the world is encoded and decoded in the mind.

Another viewpoint suggests that what one perceives is dependent on the spoken word. Basically, that thought depends on language, not the other way around. The Theory of Linguistic Relativity states that the grammatical and more verbal structure of a person’s language influences how the world is perceived. It emphasizes that language either determines or influences one’s thoughts. Simply, the language that we use shapes the way we think and how we see the world.

The theories remain debatable: thought then language or language then thought? In fact, the Theory does make us think and question how we see the world. That is the point. In the end, we must strive to keep an open-mind and respect the diversity we find.

Specifically, there are 15 inclusive language fundamentals to help understand important DEI basics:

  • Accommodation – Making changes to certain rules, standards, policies, workplace cultures & physical environments to ensure that they do not have a negative effect on a person because of their mental or physical ability, religion, gender or any other protected ground.
  • Bias – A predisposition in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another. It can be conscious or unconscious, negative or positive, & develops through experience.
  • Culture – Observable behaviors and/or symbols that tend to be expected, reinforced, & rewarded by and within a group.
  • Cultural Competence – The ability to interact effectively & respectfully with people across cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations & other identities.
  • Cultural intelligence – The ability to relate & work effectively across cultures, borders, perspectives and other differences.
  • Discrimination – Actions based on conscious or unconscious prejudice that favor one group over others.
  • Diversity – The variety of shared & different characteristics among human beings.
  • Equity – Fair treatment of everyone that addresses specific needs, barriers, & accommodations to ensure every person has equal opportunity to participate & share in success.
  • Ethnicity – Belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.
  • Gender – A social & cultural construct that refers to a societal role, not a person’s assigned, biological sex.
  • Inclusion – The process of creating a culture & environment that recognizes, appreciates,& effectively uses the talents, skills, & perspectives of every individual.
  • LGBTQ+ – An inclusive term for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual or any other sexual orientation.
  • People of Color – Used primarily in the US to describe any person who is not of European ancestry, emphasizing common experiences of institutionalized discrimination.
  • Race – Refers to a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished from others by physical characteristics such as color of skin, shape of eyes, hair texture or facial features. Race has no biological basis; it is purely a social construct.
  • Sexual Orientation – A term describing a person’s attraction to members of the same or other sex or gender. 1

1. https://www.berlitz.com/blog/inclusive-language-guide; 4February2022

Upcoming Training

15 Things Veterans Want You to Know for Healthcare Providers
Help increase your knowledge of military/veteran culture.

Mandatory training through Health Streams for all Staff
Must be completed by March 18, 2022

Motivation Interviewing (for Peers and Case Managers)
This overview of motivational interviewing was originally developed to help behavioral health professionals who are working with clients who are engaged in treatment of substance use disorders and is now used in a number of behavioral health situations.

Mandatory training through Health Streams for peers and case managers.
Must be completed by March 18, 2022

Cultural Training on the Unhoused Population
Help increase your knowledge of the unhoused population.
Presented by Teresa Black

Available to All Staff
March 22, 2022
9 – 10 a.m. via Zoom
Meeting ID 709-586-2024, password = 7064

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