Creating a Trauma Informed Environment cont.

Creating a Physical Environment to Support Recovery > Creating a Trauma Informed Environment cont.


Trauma results from an event, series of events, or a set of circumstances an individual experiences as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening, which may have lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. Traumatic events may be experienced by an individual, a generation, or an entire community or culture.

(LEARN MORE about the Trauma-Informed Approach from SAMHSA


Many residents of recovery housing have experienced trauma in their life.  The type and severity of trauma varies from person to person.  The NARR standards focus on providing recovery homes with a trauma informed environment.  Similar to the social model of recovery, creating a trauma informed environment focuses not only on the physical environment, but how it is used as well.


The following are ways to help create an environment that is trauma informed…

  • Ensure residents have privacy when using the bathroom, showering, sleeping, and changing clothes.

  • Allow for spaces for residents to have private conversations with friends, family, peer supporters and others.

  • Maintain appropriate visitor policies and procedures where visitors are aware of how to respect residents.

  • Carefully consider the use of security cameras.

  • Provide secure spaces for residents to securely store personal items of value or keepsakes.

  • Discuss emergency procedures and protocols appropriately and maintain proper preparedness kits.

  • Store documents and records appropriately within the home.

  • Ask residents when they are moving in what you can do to help them feel safe and comfortable and implement recommendations, if possible.