Virtual Learning Network:

Successful Implementation of Trauma-Infromed Practices: Reducing Seclusion, Restraint, and other Forms of Aversive Interventions

SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint (NCTIC) has rolled out the Virtual Learning Network (VLN): Successful Implementation of Trauma-Informed Practices: Reducing Seclusion, Restraint, and other Forms of Aversive Interventions. Six organizations are piloting this 18 month program by working across systems to apply trauma informed practices throughout multiple settings. Each organization is represented by a team that consists of leadership, peers, and clinical and administrative personnel. Agencies will work with NCTIC coach through a virtual classroom in order to help develop action plans towards promoting alternatives to seclusion and restraint through trauma informed practices. The effectiveness of change will be measured through the group’s action plans. Upon completion of this class, participants will serve as mentors for future VLN classes, sharing their knowledge on successful implementation in their system.


  1. Participants interact with one another and the instructors via webcam, which creates an interactive and dynamic experience.
  2. A series of six (6) webinars will cover SAMHSA’s principles of Trauma-Informed Practices
  • Safety
  • Trustworthiness and Transparency
  • Peer Support
  • Collaboration and Mutuality
  • Empowerment, Voice, and Choice
  • Cultural, Historical, and Gender Context

Each 90-minute webinar will include 30-40 minutes of presentation by a team of at least two national experts (including at least one trauma survivor), followed by a dialogue among participants.

  1. Two-day on-site TA event with assigned facilitation team (including at least one trauma survivor), who will work closely with the team for the next 18 months. The site visit will include training, facility tour, meetings with key leadership, and assistance with development of an Action Plan describing goals, objectives, and activities in at least four of the six principles of TIP (as listed in #2 above).
  2. Monthly teleconferences with assigned facilitation team and other VLN participants, focused on lessons learned, innovative practice in reducing seclusion, restraint and other forms of aversive interventions and implementation of trauma-informed principles.
  3. Ongoing TA throughout the 18 months, which may include up to two on-site training/consultation events and multiple virtual TA events (teleconferences, emails, webinars).
  4. Inclusion of performance measures (as defined by each organization) in the organization’s Action Plan and shared with the group/facilitators.

Participation Criteria

  • Readiness for change. This might include:
    • Level of leadership commitment
    • Capacity to devote leadership and staff time (up to 4 members per organization)
  • Willingness to serve as a mentor to other organizations (for future VLN’s)
  • Willingness to identify and report on performance measures/outcomes (at 6, 12, and 18 months)
  • Willingness to develop an action plan focused on implementation of TIP principles
  • Willingness to participate in all meetings using videoconferencing (includes virtual classrooms, consultation calls with assigned coach, and on-site training
  • Demonstrated commitment to trauma survivor involvement

VLN Staffing Chart

Staff Member

VLN Role

Contact Information

Joan Gillece


Raul Almazar


Pam Rainer

VLN Coordinator

Jenifer Urff

VLN Planner/Author of Briefs

Kristen King

VLN Planner/Facebook Coordinator

Melanie Sutherland

Adobe Platform Coordinator

Jeremy McShan

TA Logistics Coordinator

Class Profiles


About the Organization

On Our Own of Maryland, Inc.

On Our Own of Maryland, Inc. is Maryland’s statewide mental health consumer education and advocacy organization established in 1986 that promotes equality in all aspects of society for people who receive mental health services, and develops alternative, recovery-based mental health initiatives. We are comprised of current and former recipients of mental health services. We have organized in order to improve mental health services and support mental health consumers who have experienced mental illness. We have a combined membership of over 1,400 people and represent 24 mental health, peer-governed and operated programs situated throughout Maryland, which in turn, serve approximately 7,000 mental health consumers annually.

Larkin Community Hospital

Larkin Community Hospital (LCH) is a 146 bed acute care hospital. LCH is one of 12 designated Statutory Teaching Hospitals in Florida and the largest teaching hospital for Osteopathic physicians in the United States, offering the largest number of training programs (offering training in 30 different medical specialties in total). LCH sponsors an allopathic residency program in Psychiatry. In addition, LCH also has a Nursing School (Registered Nurse Associate Degree program). Mission is to provide access to compassionate care of the highest quality in an educational environment. Larkin Community hospital is located in South Miami, we serve the population in South Miami, also regions like Kendall, Pinecrest, Coral Gables, Dadeland, Kendale Lakes and others neighboring regions.

King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division

King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division (MHCADSD) contracts with twenty community-based mental health agencies (CMHAs) to provide public mental health outpatient services to over 34,000 clients in King County, Washington. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in King County by providing services and supports to individuals, families, and communities affected by mental illness and/or substance abuse or chemical dependence. The King County Trauma Informed Care Project (KCTIC) is enhancing mental health services by infusing trauma-informed care approaches in the CMHAs in King County. The demographic and clinical characteristics of consumers are: 75.3% Caucasian, 6.2% African American, 13.4% Asian, 0.6% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1.0% American Indian/Alaska Native, 7.7% Hispanic, and 3.4% individuals who report being of mixed race. Sixty percent are 18-59 years of age, 22% have a co-occurring disorder, 7% are homeless, and 89% are not employed.

Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, Cook County Health & Hospitals System

At the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, we provide out patient, medical and psychosocial support to those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In many cases our consumers arrive with a level of fear, anxiety, apprehension and distrust. We offer mental health services, substance abuse treatment, case management services, medical screenings for sexually transmitted infections and HIV specific research opportunities. Our Behavioral Health Department consists of mental health, including therapy and psychiatric care as well as substance abuse treatment. The substance abuse program utilizes a 16 week outpatient evidence based model of care.

Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, Commonwealth of Virginia

Commonwealth Center for Children & Adolescents (CCCA) is the sole child/adolescent psychiatric hospital operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are a 48-bed acute care hospital serving children and adolescents who are unable to be served in any other facility in Virginia. Our mission is to provide high quality acute psychiatric evaluation, crisis stabilization, and intensive short-term treatment that empowers children and their families to make developmentally appropriate choices and that strengthens children’s hope, resilience, and self-esteem. We serve approximately 700 children and adolescents per year. Most have relatively short stays, but some require longer admissions due to the severity of their problems. Staff includes about 130 full time employees. Clinical services include psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, occupational therapy, music therapy, recreational therapy, pediatrics

The Queens Treatment Court

The Queens Treatment Court (QTC) was implemented in May 1998 to address the increasing number of felony level drug arrests in Queens County and to offer defendants treatment while under the supervision of a drug court model. Since the inception, the Court has expanded the eligible criteria to include non-drug felony arrest charges and defendants with co-occurring disorders. Since then, the Queens Treatment has expanded other treatment courts: Queens Mental Health Court, Queens DWI Court and Queens Veterans Court. The criteria for each court varies.