Trauma Informed Interior Design for Inclusivity, Well-being and Mental Health - Part 1

Trauma Informed Interior Design for Inclusivity, Well-being and Mental Health - Part 1

Trigger Warnings: text mentions; abuse, bullying, mental health, neglect, racism, suicide, stress, trauma. | 25 min read approx. | 

An AI narration can be found of the text here and of the Assessment Watch -12 principles here:

Part 1 - Research and Context


  1. Rationale
  2. Introduction
  3. What is trauma?
  4. The Client
  5. Trauma-Informed Design Assessment
  6. Bibliography/Links


I am an Interior Designer living in Charlton near Greenwich, London, in the United Kingdom. The purpose of this blog post/s is to discuss and share my reading and research into Trauma Informed Design and Interior Design for Inclusivity to influence a new interior design scheme.

The main motivation for this is my son, currently aged 6, who has Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and suffered early life trauma and is care experienced. So I may make sense of this science, practice and psychology, to design a new inclusive bedroom or interior for him to support regulation and healing by focusing on attachment, self-regulation, sensory advantage, independence and play. I am Neurodiverse myself (diagnosed dyslexic) good luck reading this, ha! -Yes, sadly we are the first to be self deprecating! I am part of a marginalised community LGBTQ+. I have suffered mental health issues, anxiety and depression and have suffered early life trauma myself, neglect, physical abuse, bullying. Not wanting to make this about me, I am merely trying to be candid here to show that I have empathy for my son's needs, from navigating non inclusive or hostile environments, systems and procedures as I see it. Empathy is always important but when we design for trauma or emotional and physical well-being, collaboration and defining lived experience is everything, as I will explain more.

The principles and mechanisms discussed may also be applied to anyone looking for advice on making a supportive or inclusive interior for those with mental health or well-being issues such as anxiety, depression and learning difficulties or SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) for example.

I plan to release three blog posts in this series to support the interior design process of my sons new bedroom:

  • Part 1 - Research and Context (this post)
  • Part 2 - The Design - Sketches / Collaboration / Refining / Prioritising Lived Experience
  • Part 3 - Evaluation - Reviewing and reflecting on the physical in-situ design. 

**Disclaimer - I am not a medical professional, I am a designer and a resigned academic with a passion to share! Of course it's not completely altruistic, as I also hope to profit from this by gaining interest in my interior design business. I am so buoyed and excited by my reading and research into trauma-informed work that I hope to be able to design more inclusive interiors and hope this to be a kick start to that.



Many of us understand good interior design to be representative of functional, practical uncluttered spaces that inject design aesthetics through colour, palette, pattern, minimalist or maximalist design sentiment for example. This is taught through the plethora of Interior design magazines, social media & TV shows such us Elle Deco, World of interiors, BBC’s Interior Design Challenge, gasp! Changing Rooms of the 80’s - of course I wasn’t around then... The resounding voice here for me usually comes from a place of privilege, a Received Pronunciation or RP accent, a white person, well travelled and historically and architecturally well informed to impose and compose a predefined, certified, bonafide defined design aesthetic. Who grants this aesthetic as bonafide? Do we know this style intrinsically supports human psychology, sociology, wellbeing, inclusion? Where is the human-centred design or inclusive design? Have we ever asked these questions of our homes before? Could I be Carrie Bradshaw?

The plethora of inspirational and aspirational interior images, I briefly described, could provide insightful analysis of human experience to include physical and psychological interaction with spaces, if the user were able to be vulnerable perhaps, and present an authentic evaluation of experience with the interior. So we could all start creating and identifying a language to support environmental healing from trauma. Designing for purpose? For all? For every budget or ability? 

But what if this function went further, to address our psychological needs more purposefully, where we gained a truly human-centred design approach and discipline inclusive of addressing our minds, our emotional and physical well-being more advertently? Or to call for our public spaces, schools, doctors surgery's, prisons, libraries, community centres to provide inclusive access where the environment was informed by trauma and budget aligned to socioeconomic status or districts? We know trauma recovery is impacted through fostering resilience; “Such resilient responses include: Increased bonding with family and community. Redefined or increased sense of purpose and meaning. Increased commitment to a personal mission. Revised priorities. Increased charitable giving and volunteerism.” (SAMHSA, 2014). So healing via access to community through good accessible design is well argued here. For a further example, research shows that disabled people are more likely to die from suicide, so again accessible inclusive environments are needed to possibly thwart and improve this dire statistic. (Ward et al., 2023). Furthermore, we know “adolescents from minoritised ethnic groups tend to experience higher levels of trauma-related mental health difficulties, which were linked (especially in low-income families) to higher levels of victimisation.” (Freud Centre Charity, 2022).

Edit from wallpaper Reciprocal by Daniel Croyle - images shows hand holding a heart drawn using cross hatch technique

image | wallpaper edit: Reciprocal by Daniel Croyle.

A recent (April, 2023) government commissioned Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) titled “Trauma-informed approaches to supporting people experiencing multiple disadvantage “ by the Department for Levelling Up, reviewed trauma-informed approaches to support those who are arguably most affected and impacted by trauma; “adults experiencing three or more of the following five: homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system. Many people in this situation may also experience poverty, trauma, physical illhealth and disability, learning disability, and/or a lack of family connections or support networks.” (UK,Gov, p.1, 2023)

The Gov. REA, as I read it, states the case plainly that positive outcomes can be supported and impacted by trauma-informed approaches, but better quantitative and qualitative data and research is needed to even identify what is a “trauma-informed approach”. Much of the trauma-informed academic literature and review is based on small scale studies and is more developed and evidence-based in the USA. Something my own research has also confounded. This further highlighted for me the relevance and importance to my own work here in trying to develop a trauma-informed design led approach.

It was my discovery of the brilliant Trauma-Informed Design Society (TIDS) located in the USA, that exposed the term for me in the first place: Trauma-Informed Design TID. The TIDS group acknowledge that TID is in its infancy and have called for academics to research and disseminate quicker and sooner. (Dietkus, 2022).

The exceptional Dr Nadine Burke Harris has conducted groundbreaking research to show the impact of trauma on healing through researching Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). A term coined by researchers Vincent Felitti, Robert Anda, and their colleagues in their seminal study conducted from 1995 to 1997 into a subset of childhood adversities. In the wonderful TED talk linked below Burke Harris evidenced research into how childhood trauma (to include an alcoholic parent for example) is inextricably linked to poor health - including lung cancer! I am currently reading her book “Toxic Childhood Stress” the legacy of Early Trauma and How to Heal.

I believe by designing for trauma we can address the needs of the affected individual/s and support healing from quite literally the ground up, by addressing the environment. Dr Gabor Maté in his brilliant book “Scattered Minds” addresses the impact of the environment for those afflicted with Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD):

“Environment does not cause ADD any more than genes cause ADD. What happens is that if certain genetic material meets a certain environment, ADD may result. Without that genetic material, no ADD. Without that environment, no ADD. The formative environment is the family of origin.” (Maté, p.28, 2019) 

I am keen to learn more about how our environment may affect Neurodiverse conditions or disorders, mental health and our wellbeing and how we may be able to support these through addressing our environment, for example Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (ADD), Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Developmental Coordination Disorder DCD/Dyspraxia.

I researched Prof. Amanda Kirby, a neurodiverse advocate and scholar, to verify the current acronyms and names attributed to the disorders listed above and found they also have a brilliant online profile tool (DO-IT)  to support anyone seeking support from the conditions listed above.

So briefly, here lies my case for designing for trauma. To support lived experience through inclusive interior design, addressing psychology, sociology, wellbeing, neurodiversity and mental health. Maybe the case laid out sounds superficial but my intent is not. I believe it's a start. I am not delusional. I know this won’t stop trauma or suddenly impact healing per se but I hope that by devising and developing a diagnostic process and tool, I might be able to capture the lived experience and interior design preferences which may just support my son and others better.


What is trauma?

There is no defining definition of trauma. For the purpose of this blog post, when we talk about trauma, I am defining this as referring to stressful, frightening or distressing events in which a person is threatened or feels threatened and/or the impact of this. For me this may include poverty, hunger, experience of the legal justice system, racism, harassment, discrimination or bullying as some examples. (Mind, 2020), (SAMHSA, 2014).  

If we have struggled with mental health, neurodiversity or wellbeing, experienced racism, homophobia, bullying or ableism for example, I am supposing that our political, ideological and classicist society has created non inclusive environments that have possibly afflicted and expedited trauma.

“Consideration of cultural, historical and gender contexts appear key in the success of a trauma-informed approach because trauma disproportionately affects marginalised populations.” (UK Gov, 2023)  

For a more explicit definition of Trauma by the charity Mind see here <.

For me, the experiential definition here (the lived experience) is defining in our quest for inclusive or universal design, seeking to diagnose experience, providing specific schemes, accessibility, adaptable products or tools to aid healing.

Of course space needs to provide functional practical solutions, but those practical solutions can also address our wellbeing.  In these terms we can redefine space and interior design to design for inclusivity, for all. Non inclusive design can cause us to feel like an outsider or unwelcome in our own space. For a traumatised or mentally unwell young person that can look like no access to retreat or recuperation space, inaccessible products, un-calming, un-sensory, too-sensory, uninviting surfaces, materials, textures or colours, awkward, inaccessible or unsafe seating or beds. No to mention poorly designed space for the disabled to include accessibility (ramps,lifts,toilets,step free), vision or low-vision, sound and smell. And unaccessible space for faith. Or gendered products or facilities where non-binary may be preferred.

It was my discovery of the brilliant Trauma-Informed Design Society (TIDS) located in the USA, that exposed the term for me in the first place, Trauma-Informed Design (TID). The TIDS group acknowledge that TID is in infancy and have made a calling to academics to aid further research (Dietkus, 2022).


The Client

The client in bed with hand drawn eye mask on

Through attending a course on Complex Needs I learnt of the impact trauma can have on impeding sensory development. I refer to this as a sensory deficit. Sensory differences can be diagnosed in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) also.
I understand my son's sensory deficit to have been possibly caused by continual stress or safety testing/seeking in early life. This constant checking for safety you may have also heard of as staying in a fight, flight or freeze mode or the “amygdala hijack” (Amygdala hijack, 2023). Continually testing for safety, trust and attachment can mean the brain stays in this limbic system (to include the amygdala) and not graduate to the cortical brain area where we learn to manage impulses planning and reason. How can you graduate if your brain is telling you you are not safe? Therefore, balancing, chewing, singing, knowing when you are hungry or moving are readily not available. Management of this trauma is needed through co-regulation with the parent and ultimately a supportive environment or interior would support this.



 image c/o: ManosHacker - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Further research into the aforementioned ACEs also shows; “early life trauma can lead to structural and functional changes in the brain and its stress regulatory systems, which affect factors such as emotional regulation and fear response, and this may predispose individuals to HHBs “ (Bellis et al, 2014) (HHBs; Health Harming Behaviors)

So my interest was stoked by my son's rapid need for regulation and to support self-regulation through co-regulation as his anger and rage grew. For those unfamiliar with the term Self-regulation;

“Self-regulation involves children’s developing ability to regulate their emotions, thoughts and behaviour to enable them to act in positive ways toward a goal. Self-regulation grows out of co-regulation, where adults and children work together toward a common purpose, including finding ways to resolve upsets from stress in any domain and return to balance…. “ (Self-regulation, 2021) 

My son's sensory deficit or Sensory Processing Disorder means he needs to develop senses and regulate himself through sensory engagement or sometimes referred to as sensory seeking. Not sure I like this term though as it almost implies that to “seek” is complicit in some way when I see it as afflicted. We tend to think of our external senses only, when we understand the word sense (visual, touch, taste, smell, auditory) and forget our internal senses (vestibular (balance), proprioception (using our muscles and joints) and interoception (inside our bodies). So my son gets great comfort from touch, taste, weight, chewing, climbing, hanging and vibration and he gets stimulated and regulated by water, water, more water, movement, animation and sound and did I mention water? For a further example, he loves to lick my husband and I hands and faces - yes it's totally gross, but we have had to redefine this for ourselves as a lovely attachment. :-)

Close up image of a young boy making a paper maché globe.

This is a great link to a site, GriffinOT, an Occupational Therapist site to support parents and educators with children who may need support with fine motor skills, sensory issues or Dyspraxia for example.

So here lies the case to support Sensory Processing within my interior concept.

Here's a link to another great blog to support further information on regulating (over-responder) or stimulating (under-responder) sensory processing issues, to include supporting my own interior design process!

“One of the goals of trauma-informed design is to provide people with an experience of autonomy and control over their lives and schedules." (J,Goodale, 2022) 

This quote inspires me to place my client at the forefront of the design process. It would be great if I could assist his access to autonomy, even in any small way possible. Hence the need for an assessment process or tool to assist and ensure collaboration in this process.

image of young white boy standing observing Lubaina Himid's painting, Le Rodeur: Exchange (2016), in the tate modern. The painting depicts a group of well-dressed black individuals gathered in a contemporary architectural space. One figure has the head of a bird, while another holds a small piece of patterned fabric. The Tate exhibition's co-curator Michael Wellen writes in the catalogue: "[The bird-like woman] rests her hand on the shoulder of a seated man, who seems lost in thought – yet her presence is not necessarily reassuring or protective. Her alert yellow eyes look at us."

A very rare moment of quick ponder, my son looking a Lubaina Himid's painting Le Rodeur: Exchange (painted 2016).  


Trauma-Informed Design Assessment

The below is an infographic I have created to assist with the assessment of interior space for individuals affected by trauma. Again, this can be applied to wellbeing or mental health as I see it. This infographic has been adapted from the Trauma-Informed Design Society evaluation tool kit for schools. (Davis Harte, J. et al., 2022)


Trauma informed Watch (infographic) - 12 principles for inclusive or trauma informed design - explained in table below

Image: Assessment Watch - 12 Principles for informing Trauma-Informed Interior Design

Whilst not meant to be a ‘capture all’ assessment guide or complete diagnostic tool, it is indeed a start to consider the environment and its effectiveness and the utilisation of interior space, acting as a prompt to support inclusive design principles when addressing trauma. I have called it an Assessment Watch as obviously there are 12 areas to consider, but also to be mindful to watch and evaluate against these areas continuously as we move forward, to always advocate for the individual and specific needs.

For me all areas are intrinsically linked. Also there is no direction clockwise or anticlockwise that we must travel in using this tool. For example, an imagined 3 O'clock provides a route to and from safety and inclusion. If we are included in the space, then we would feel psychologically safe and any inclusions would need to consider physical safety.

As a designer, of course I will want to have an oversight to aesthetic, form, function and finish, but the interior must be designed in collaboration to support lived experience, so the main function of the Assessment Watch is to support collaboration.

Researching or assessing the lived experience (the client) must have a degree of flexibility within the process. It must have empathy at its core.

“As a general rule, researchers should be capable of recognizing signs of emotional distress and be prepared to respond appropriately. Depending on circumstances, these may include offering encouraging words, suspending the interview, and directing the participant to mental health resources.“ (Hirsch, p.6, 2020)

The below follows some extrapolated prompts from the infographic to provide further context and an assessment methodology. Again for me, this is a six year old with aforementioned trauma and specific neurodiverse needs, so adjust as appropriate and please let me know how you get on if you do use it!

I will plan to introduce these questions (research) through play with my son as I am mindful of his specific needs in communication and concentration.

Furthermore I am conscious of designing an age adaptable assessment/audit tool/kit in the future. With this in mind the University of Cambridge has a great "Inclusive Design Canvas" to support assessment of individual persona’s: which would certainly be good to use or adapt when I design inclusively for a more unknown client.


 Watch Context Lived Experience Questions (adapt for age appropriation)
1. Lighting
  • Natural - sunlight, moonlight, time of day
  • Artificial - side, spot, study, sleep
  • Adjustable dimmable
  • Sensory - flashing, fading, colour

 What light makes you feel safe or comfortable?

When do you need or use light?

➔ Which light is more functional?

Sensory Direct | Sensory Mood Light Table
Sensory Direct | Sensory Mood Light Table 
Pelican bedside table lamp

Bedside Lamp & Co. | Animal bedside lamp for children

moon lamp

Little ones | 3D Moon Lamp

2. Visibility
  • Clarity
  • Adjustable window coverings - blinds, curtains, reflection (heat)
  • Sufficient lighting
  • Blind or low-vision
  • Connection to sensation and sound from nature or environment to identify surroundings
  • ➔    Do you mind people seeing in through your windows during the day?

    ➔    Is your room dark enough at night? Or too dark?

    ➔    Do you feel safe at night?

    ➔    Do you feel confident leaving your room at night?

    ➔    What sound feels like home?

John Lewis

Jute Effect Daylight Roller Blind, W61 x Drop 160cm

Sensory Direct | The Four Senses Sensory Puzzle Playmats (30cmx30cm) Set of 4

3. Safety
  •  Feeling within the space
  • Physical and psychological safety
  • Emergency escape route
  • Refuge
➔ What part of your room makes you feel most safe? Why? Which part is unsafe? Why?


4. Comfort / Aesthetics
  •  Increase enjoyment and ease
  • Alleviate any stressors
  • Consider sensory load - textures, patterns, fabrics, colour
  • Retreat
  • Welcoming
  • Colour / palette

➔ What is your favourite colour? Pattern? Texture? (provide examples/samples)

➔ Which colour/texture/tone/pattern makes you feel calm? Excited?

➔ What would a retreat look like?

Textured walling from the, The Library Ladder Company No. 112 “Ridges”.

Architectural Digest | Benjamin Johnston Design | 8 Chic Kids Room Ideas From AD PRO Directory Designers

Daniel Croyle Studio | Ander Interior Fabric

5. Choice/flexibility
  • Autonomy
  • Choice and spatial flexibility
  • Multifunctional, Furniture, refuge, gathering, chairs etc
  • Longevity,adaptability
  • Accessibility

➔    How do you feel about your current space? Do you wish you had more space for play or study? Floor or desk?

➔    What would a personal space look like? (refuge)

accessible child's wardrobe
Etsy | Montessori Teepee Style Clothing Rack, Kids Room Decor, Clothes Rack for Baby, Child Size Furniture, Nursery Wardrobe, Frame Rack Dress Up


Archi Products





  • Belonging - personal artwork, photos, framed belongings
  • See oneself and identities
  • Attachment - Family
  • photographs, school, friends

    ➔ Would you like your own artwork framed or have a favourite artwork from a sibling , parent or family member?

    ➔ Are there any photos of family members missing in your room?

    ➔ What makes you, you?



    Etsy image look at we made - child holding a board of pegged hand drawn images



    “Look at what we made display”


    child drawing on a bedroom wall - painted using blackboard paint


    Blog link to how to create a black

    wall accent.


    child's drawings mounted-on hexagon wood shapes joined together


    Create Gift Love

    Personalised child’s drawing wall.

    7. Wayfinding (public?) Introduction
    •  Attachment focused - introduction day, surprises not always welcome, reveal production slowly, moving in, age appropriate introduction (favourite Teddy introduces space or new objects repeatedly, treasure hunt or trail)
    • Orientation physical space and navigation, the space need to make sense, flow, zones
    • Cues; labels, symbols, signage, colours, paths and patterns for direction and orientation (public)
    • Visual timetable

    Do you know where everything goes in your current room?

    ➔    Do you know what your week looks like? Would you like to?

    ➔    Is it important to you that you are ‘seen’ in other rooms in the house? What would that look like for you?

    Etsy | Daily Morning/Evening Routine with Shelf - Montessori Life Cards for Toddlers - Wooden Toddler Visual Schedule - Toddler Easter Gift
    Etsy | Montessori Wardrobe Labels
    Etsy | nursery storage baskets labels, nursery box sticker, nursery decor, nursery prints, IKEA MOPPE chest, (shelf NOT included)

    The Farthing | Apothecary Wall Storage Cabinet

    8. Acoustics
    • Reverberation / Echo
    • Too muted - public space (eg assembly)
    • Materials and space - wool, sound proofing,
    • Access to sound generation (sensory, AI speaker, instrument)

    ➔    Is your current room ever too loud or too quiet? How? Where? When?

    ➔    What sound or music makes you feel calm? Which makes you feel excited?

    Muffle | FLUFFO SOFT EDGE Dot Acoustic Panel
    Sonio | 14six8 'Hide' Acoustic Pod
    Toniebox - With no screens, ads, cameras or mics in sight, the Toniebox was designed by parents to be completely safe for little listeners to operate on their own.
    9. Accessibility
    • Mobility impairment or other disability
    • Escape route/plan
    • Attachment - code, door lock, knocker, bell

    ➔    Do you like to know when someone is coming into your room? Or when someone is leaving?

    ➔    Where would you go in the event of a fire? how?

    Etsy |

    English Braille alphabet wood board with punctuation of large sizes in cover for studying Braille letters cut out signs сards tools blind

    Amazon | Woudi® woodpecker door sign door woodpecker children's room play tower playhouse tree house bell bell pupil woodpecker

    Amazon | Do not Disturb Welcome Please Knock Sign (Grey) - Privacy Slide Door Indicator with Clear Bold Text – Privacy Sign for Home, Restroom, Office, Conference Room, Private Studio

    Etsy | Luxury sign with Braille for Hotel Signage made of wood & acrylic, Room Number Sign, Suite Door Sign.

    10. Biophilia/Connection to Nature
    • Innate human instinct to connect to nature
    • Utilises natural materials, patterns and phenomena
    • Sustainability, maintain an ecological balance, product, fit,choice

    ➔    What is your favourite thing in nature? Animal? Plant? Place? Habitat?

    ➔    Where or when outside (in nature) have you felt safe?

    Photowall - Canopy - Spring Green
    Urban Outfitters plant pot "Birdie" - plant pot mounted onto bird like legs and feet.

    Urban Outfitters | Birdie Plant Pot




    Bibliography / Links


    Harris, B.N. (2020) Toxic childhood stress: The legacy of early trauma and how to heal. London: Bluebird.

    Maté, G. (2019) Scattered minds: The origins and healing of attention deficit disorder. London: Vermilion.

    Allman, D. (2013). The Sociology of Social Inclusion. SAGE Open, 3(1).

    The Sociology of Social Inclusion 


    Becker-Blease, K.A. (2017) Full article: As the World Becomes Trauma–informed, work to do, As the world becomes trauma–informed, work to do. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

    Dietkus, R. (2022) The call for trauma‐informed design research and practice, Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

    Goodale, J. (2022) ‘Understanding Trauma-Informed Design’. USA: American Jails.

    Jeff Goodale, AIA, ACA, is director of HOK’s global Justice group.

    Matteo Zallio, P. John Clarkson, (2022). The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility audit. A post-occupancy evaluation method to help design the buildings of tomorrow,Building and Environment, Volume 217,

    The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility audit. A post-occupancy evaluation method to help design the buildings of tomorrow

    Hirsch, T. (2020) Practicing without a license: Design Research as psychotherapy, ResearchGate. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023).

    Discusses ethical concerns and suggests the need for trauma-informed research practices, updated consent procedures, and revised pedagogy that better support researchers and participants engaged in emotionally charged encounters.

    Salman, S. (2018) ‘What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like?’, The guardian, 14 February. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023).

    Most cities are utterly unfriendly to people with disabilities – but with almost one billion estimated to be urban-dwellers by 2050, a few cities are undergoing a remarkable shift

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 57. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4801. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

    This manual helps behavioral health professionals understand the impact of trauma on those who experience it. The manual discusses patient assessment and treatment planning strategies. These strategies support recovery and the development of a trauma-informed care workforce.

    UK,Gov. Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (2023) Trauma-informed approaches to supporting people experiencing multiple disadvantage. Open Government Licence. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).


    Amygdala hijack (2023) Wikipedia. Available at: (Accessed: 12 May 2023). 

    Davis Harte, J. et al. (2022) Research and resources: Trauma-informed design society, Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

    This assessment tool was created through research performed by the Trauma-informed Design Society, with assistance from over 100 participating educators and designers. It can be used to evaluate schools and identify changes in the physical environment that can lower the stress levels of students and staff. Grounded in SAMHSA’s guidance for a trauma-informed approach and the Trauma-informed Design Society’s framework, this project was supported by the American Society of Interior Designers Foundation.

    Freud Centre charity, A. (2022) Racism, mental health and Trauma Research Round up, UK Trauma Council (UKTC). Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023).

    Griffin, K. (2023) Sensory processing disorder training for educators & parents, GriffinOT. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

    Inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility (IDEA) toolkit (2020) IDEA inclusive design toolkit. University of Cambridge. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023).

    Kirby, A. (2022) Neurodivergent tests for children: Do-it Profiler, Do IT Profiler. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023).

    Mind, (2020) What is trauma? Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

    Neff, M.A. (2023) 8 senses of the body: The hidden sensory systems, Insights of a Neurodivergent Clinician. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

    Self-regulation (2021) Birth To 5 Matters. Early Education on behalf of the Early Years Coalition. Available at: (Accessed: April 27, 2023).

    Ward, I., Nafilyan, V. and Finning, K. (2023) Sociodemographic inequalities in suicides in England and Wales: 2011 to 2021, Sociodemographic inequalities in suicides in England and Wales - Office for National Statistics. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023).

    A population level analysis comparing the risk of dying by suicide across sociodemographic groups in adults in England and Wales.


    Form Follows Feeling: Trauma-Informed Design and the Future of Interior Spaces (2021) YouTube. ArchDaily. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023).

    To showcase the work of psychologists, educators, architects, and other professionals who have put human wellbeing at the forefront, J. Davis Harte and Janet Roche have created an online platform titled Trauma-Informed Design, where the latest research and case studies can be collected, shared, and amplified, to create better interior spaces.

    How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime (2014) Nadine Burke Harris: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime | TED Talk. TED. Available at: (Accessed: 16 May 2023). 



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