The Sanctuary Model is a blueprint for organisations to build safe communities that help people heal from trauma.
The Sanctuary Model (Sanctuary) focuses on safety and creating an understanding of how past adversity can continue to have an impact throughout life. It recognises that trauma has an impact not only on the people who have experienced it, but also on the staff who work with them and on organisations as a whole.
Sanctuary enables an organisation to create a safe, non-violent environment and relationships that teach people to cope more effectively with stress and trauma.
Sanctuary is committed to:
- Non-violence: We use unconditional care to stay safe and allow others to feel safe
- Emotional Intelligence: We manage our feelings, so we don’t hurt ourselves or others
- Social Learning: We are curious and learn from each other and from our difficulties
- Democracy: All voices and views are heard and respected
- Open Communication: We are honest and say what we mean with kindness
- Social Responsibility: We help each other and take responsibility for our actions
- Growth and Change: We acknowledge loss, are open to new ideas and are hopeful for the future.
Sanctuary encourages us to rethink the way we manage conflict resolution and crisis intervention. It supports staff and carers to form healthy communities and create a culture that prioritises safety and wellbeing at every level within the workplace.
Origins of the Sanctuary Model
Sanctuary is an evidence-informed approach that was developed in the early 1980s by American psychiatrist, Dr Sandra Bloom and her colleagues. Their model, developed in an acute care psychiatric unit where most of the patients were survivors of traumatic childhood experiences has since been adapted to residential care, youth detention, schools and a range of other community services.