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The Journal of College and University Student Housing








Live-in college residential life positions often involve extensive and diverse responsibilities including the support of residential students experiencing traumatic life events. While live-in staff undergo extensive training in regard to supporting these students, they are often ill-equipped to understand and prevent potential negative consequences associated with trauma support work including burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress. Given the increase in students reporting traumatic life events including sexual violence, severe economic hardships, and severe mental health disabilities, it follows that live-in residential life staff are being called on more frequently to serve as first responders and support personnel for these students. Current literature highlights the potentially deleterious impact of trauma support work on helping professionals, but few publications exist that highlight ways to prevent these effects within a residential life context. This article looks outside of the higher education literature to explore how a related helping profession, social work, provides training and education to social work practitioners in order to mitigate potential negative outcomes stemming from their work with individuals experiencing trauma.


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Original Publication Citation

Lynch, R. J. (2019). An interdisciplinary approach: Using social work praxis to develop trauma resiliency in live-in residential life staff. Journal of College and University Student Housing, 45(3), 42-55.