If you have experienced childhood trauma, you can speak with a Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellor including for support and applications around national redress

1300 657 380
Monday - Sunday
between 9am - 5pm AEDT
or via email helpline@blueknot.org.au


Do you live with disability?  Have you experienced abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation?

For support for Disability Royal Commission or general support contact our National Counselling & Referral Service

1800 421 468
9am - 6pm AEDT Mon- Fri
9am - 5pm AEDT Sat, Sun & public holidays

Blue Knot Foundation Blog

Check out our recent blog posts to stay up to date with our work, latest research and articles curated by the Blue Knot Foundation Marketing & Communications team. Should you have any suggestions or contributions please contact us via email: marketing@blueknot.org.au.



Trauma can arise from single or repeated adverse events that threaten to overwhelm a person’s ability to cope. When it is repeated and extreme, occurs over a long time, or is perpetrated in childhood by care-givers it is called complex trauma. 

Two thirds of people presenting to mental health services, inpatient and outpatient, have a lived experience of child physical or sexual abuse. Other causes of complex trauma include emotional abuse, neglect, family violence, living with a parent with a mental illness or who abuses substances, war and refugee trauma, separation and loss. In Australia 5 million adults have been affected by childhood trauma. 

Many trauma survivors show remarkable resilience. However many are left struggling day to day with their health, wellbeing, emotions, relationships, and sense of self and identity. Complex trauma affects not only its victims but those with whom they are in contact as well as the children they go on to have. 

Research has established that trauma is a major public health problem. Yet within current systems it is frequently unrecognised, unacknowledged, and unaddressed. Many of those affected have been inadvertently re-traumatised in systems of care lacking the requisite knowledge and training around the particular sensitivities, vulnerabilities and triggers of trauma survivors. 

Trauma Informed Practice is a strengths-based framework which is founded on five core principles – safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment as well as respect for diversity. Trauma informed services do no harm i.e. they do not re-traumatise or blame victims for their efforts to manage their traumatic reactions, and they embrace a message of hope and optimism that recovery is possible. In trauma informed services trauma survivors are seen as unique individuals who have experienced extremely abnormal situations and have managed as best they could. 

Becoming trauma informed necessitates a cultural and philosophical shift across every part of a service and is applicable to all human and health service systems. Trauma informed systems understand the dynamics of traumatic stress, survivors in the context of their lives and the role of coping strategies. They feature safety from harm and re-traumatisation, emphasise strength building and skill acquisition rather than symptom management, and foster true collaboration and power sharing between workers and those seeking help at all service levels. 

Studies have shown that programs that utilize a trauma-informed practice model report a decrease in symptoms, an improvement in consumers’ daily functioning, and decreases in the use of hospitalization and crisis intervention. 

Trauma-informed services do not cost more than standard services and report more successful collaboration with all stakeholders, enhanced skills, and a greater sense of self-efficacy among consumers, improved staff morale, fewer negative events, and more effective services and positive outcomes. 

We need to embed trauma informed practice within all health and human service systems to provide appropriate trauma-informed services to those needing them. The provision of trauma informed services must also be supported by trauma specific services, which provide specific interventions to address the consequences of trauma. 

For more information see ASCA Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery www.asca.org.au/guidelines and www.asca.org.au/workshops


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Health Direct


Head to Health


“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”


“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”


"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”


Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
Email: admin@blueknot.org.au
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEDT

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au 
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEDT

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman
+61 425 812 197
+61 2 8920 3611
or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Julia Macerola
+61 422 337 332
or julia@fiftyacres.com