Many individuals in helping professions share a similar drive to help their community and a passion for working with individuals in affected communities. However, constant contact with patients who are suffering can take a toll on the mental health of these professionals, including social workers and nurses. Without proper care, this emotional weight can eventually result in compassion fatigue, which defines the physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion that some individuals experience.
Warning signs of compassion fatigue include lack of empathy, increased irritability, exhaustion, and depression. Those dealing with compassion fatigue can turn to self-care strategies to cope. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers these tips for self-care to stave off compassion fatigue: getting enough sleep, communicating with family and friends, celebrating successes and mourning sorrows with co-workers, and establishing alone time to think.
For more on compassion fatigue and the tools to help combat it, head to OnlineMSWPrograms.com to read the full guide.
Visit OnlineMSWPrograms.com to learn more and read the guide: A Guide to Understanding and Coping with Compassion Fatigue