Trauma Matters Omaha

16-year-old Carrie arrived at Project Harmony's Triage Center, threatening to run.  Staff slowly coaxed her into having a bit to eat - buying more time and building trust.  After taking a shower and receiving clean clothes, Carrie returned as a different person.  She was calm and more engaged.  She felt safe.

Without warning, two professionals unknown to Carrie entered the Triage Center and informed her they would be taking her to another facility.

She began to cry hysterically - all of the trust built during her time in the Triage Center was diminished.  She was traumatized all over again.

What could first responders and other professionals have done to reduce Carrie's trauma?  These questions, and more, set the stage for building a trauma informed community.


To create a safe, supportive and engaging community throughout Omaha where all people - young and old - can flourish.

What is Trauma?

There is a misconception of what trauma actually means.  Most think of trauma as a result of a car accident or an assault.  It is much more than that.  Trauma includes:
  • Interpersonal violence - such as abuse, domestic violence and bullying
  • Social violence - such as war, terrorism and living under oppressive political regimes
  • Natural disasters and accidents - such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and auto crashes
  • Chronic social stressors - such as racism, poverty, humiliation and cultural dislocation
  • Childhood trauma - such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect

Target Focus

This initiative strives to train 5% of Omaha’s population, approximately 22,000 people, in foundational knowledge of trauma with a concentrated effort directed at community leadership:  first responders (law enforcement, fire, EMTs, and media), juvenile justice, child welfare, medical, and education.  The first step of the initiative is creating awareness.  

A foundation of awareness and knowledge leads to opportunities for thoughtfully developing skills and procedures that are trauma sensitive.  This provides community leaders and members of all occupations to respond to those affected by trauma in a way that best helps them succeed.  It is a focus on viewing other’s from a mentality of “what has happened to you” in place of the common perception of “what is wrong with you.”  Throughout the course of the next three years, the Trauma Informed Community initiative will focus on developing train-the-trainer programs that help organizations to develop and implement trauma informed practices.  

Why this is important?

Project Harmony understands trauma is unique to each individual.  We believe in building relationships and fostering a collaborative and supportive community.

However, initiating changes requires commitment.  In order to accomplish effective change, the entire community must devote a sustained effort to the process and must commit to viewing every situation through a trauma informed lens.

This initiative is a collaborative effort to create a safe, supportive and engaging community.  We understand each partner has a different scope of work and level of experience.  It is our intention to provide specifically targeted resources and training while staying committed to the overall health and well-being of this community.

Save the Date

Trauma Matters Omaha Presents: The Power of Resilience
Featuring Father Greg Boyle
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

In the News

Treating trauma, providing training a priority for Omaha group
Omaha Undertakes Initiative to Become Trauma Informed City
Gift to UNMC focuses on helping those who have experienced mental trauma
Teens volunteer to help with police training

Partner Organizations

(Click on the links below for a complete list of trauma trainings.)


Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska
CHI Health
City of Omaha
Douglas County Commissioners
Douglas County Health Department
Department of Health and Human Services
The Kim Foundation
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Families Collaborative
Omaha City Council
Omaha Fire Department
Omaha Police Department
Omaha Public Schools
Project Harmony
Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare
The Sherwood Foundation
United Way of the Midlands
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Women's Fund