Each year, PAR asks our customers to select a charity to be the recipient of an annual donation on behalf of our customers. We are proud to announce the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the recipient of this year’s annual donation.
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. It is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
“We began our Pay It Forward campaign several years ago as a way to honor the important work our customers do. While we provide our customers with insights and information to assist clients and patients throughout the year, this allows us to support them in a different way,” said PAR CEO Kristin Greco. “As a company, we feel so fortunate to be able to pay it forward on behalf of our customers.”
PAR will be donating $5,000 to support the important work NAMI is doing in communities throughout the country.
“NAMI is dedicated to raising awareness and providing support and education on the topic of mental health. This is vitally important work and dovetails with the work we do at PAR,” said Greco. “We are grateful to be able to contribute toward that purpose during this year’s Pay It Forward initiative.”
To learn more about NAMI, visit nami.org.
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter spent much of her life as a prominent advocate for mental health. On Sunday, November 19, she passed away at her home in Plains, Georgia at the age of 96. We take this opportunity to showcase some of her important work in the field of mental health advocacy.
Advocated for mental health reform in Georgia
When her husband Jimmy Carter was running for governor of Georgia, Mrs. Carter met a woman who had just clocked out from the night shift. She mentioned that she was on the way home to take care of her daughter who had mentally health concerns. Mrs. Carter campaigned the rest of the day and then stood in line at one of her husband’s rallies. When Mr. Carter asked her what she was doing on the rope line at his rally, she said, “I came to see what you are going to do to help people with mental illnesses when you become governor.” He replied that Georgia was going to have the best program in the country and he would put her in charge of it.
Mrs. Carter served as a member of the Governor’s Commission to Improve Services to the Mentally and Emotionally Handicapped during her husband’s governorship.
Served as an advocate for mental health as First Lady
Once Mr. Carter was in the White House, Mrs. Carter served as the honorary Chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health and testified before the Senate on behalf of the Mental Health Systems Act, which led to the passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. The Mental Health Systems Act provided grants to community mental health centers. It was considered landmark legislation and has created a framework for much of the mental health legislation since that time.
While in the White House, the Carters helped establish 123 community mental health centers.
Focused on improving mental health and health care
After leaving Washington, DC, Mrs. Carter continued to advocate for mental health. The Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy has focused on improving mental health care by engaging thought leaders on topics such as how to promote access to appropriate and affordable behavioral healthcare services, issues related to improving the quality of mental health services, and concerns about reducing the stigma related to mental health and substance abuse.
In addition, she was pivotal in the Carter Center Mental Health Task Force, the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism, and the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI). Through these initiatives, Mrs. Carter was able to address the concerns of caregivers, promote mental health awareness, and advance public and social policies by shining a light on mental health issues.
Mrs. Carter cowrote several books on mental health and caregiving topics and received many honors for her work, including the 2018 Bill Foege Global Health Award, Volunteer of the Decade Award from the National Mental Health Association, the Dorothea Dix Award from the Mental Illness Foundation, the Nathan S. Kline Medal of Merit from the International Committee Against Mental Illness, the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine, the United States Surgeon General's Medallion, induction in the National Women's Hall of Fame, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. She was an Honorary Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Mrs. Carter once reflected why it was important to make mental health her priority: “I wanted to take mental illnesses and emotional disorders out of the closet, to let people know it is all right to admit having a problem without fear of being called crazy. If only we could consider mental illnesses as straightforwardly as we do physical illnesses, those affected could seek help and be treated in an open and effective way.”
Rosalynn Carter was a tireless advocate for mental health causes. The Carter Center plans to continue this important work.
This week, schools everywhere will be celebrating National School Psychology Week (NSPW)!
NSPW is more than just a yearly observance; it's a way to acknowledge school psychologists who work tirelessly to nurture the mental health and emotional well-being of students. It also serves as a reminder of the multifaceted support that school psychologists provide. From addressing academic challenges to fostering emotional resilience, these professionals are dedicated to ensuring that each student receives the personalized support they need to thrive.
The importance of mental health in education cannot be overstated. NSPW serves as a platform to raise awareness about mental health issues among students, parents, and educators. By fostering a culture of openness, school psychologists contribute to reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health support.
Being a school psychologist has always been crucial, and given the current shortage of school psychologists along with the increasing demand for their services, NSPW is just one way to recognize that this role is more demanding—and more important—than ever.
Sponsored by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the theme for NSPW this year is “Let’s Grow Together.” This theme brings to the spotlight the essential work school psychologists do to help students to flourish.
PAR would like to thank all school psychologists for the essential services they provide to their students, and for placing your trust in our instruments. Celebrate this week by showing your school psychology pride—download our complimentary virtual background here for use on your teleconferencing software.
Looking for more information about PAR school resources and assessments? Visit our school resources page.
How to use a virtual background on Zoom:
Sign in to the Zoom desktop app. Click your profile thumbnail, then go to “Settings.” Navigate to “Background & Effects.” Download the complimentary image here and click the “+” icon to upload.
How to use a virtual background on Teams:
From the Calendar, click “Join” on a meeting. In the pre-meeting screen, turn on your camera. Select the background filters icon and a panel will appear on the right with all the available background options. Download the NSPW image here. Select “Add new” and upload the image from your computer.
Halloween festivities often bring exciting anticipation for many children. However, scratchy uncomfortable costumes, flashing lights, spooky effects, and scary décor may not spell fun for every child. The following are a few things to keep in mind during this spooky season in order to make it inclusive for all.
Show your house is inclusive to children with ASD
Think you may have a child with ASD or other sensory differences visiting your home on Halloween? Autism Speaks offers free printables so trick-or-treaters will know your home is an autism-friendly stop. If you are trick-or-treating with a child who has ASD, Autism Speaks offers many Halloween resources, including a downloadable social story, All About Halloween, that may be a helpful way to explain many Halloween traditions like jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, costumes, and the sights and sounds of the holiday.
Create opportunities for children with allergies
A simple step you can take is to offer non-food treats in a teal pumpkin; this is a way to signal to the 1 in 13 children in the U.S. who have food allergies that you have a treat they can participate in without concern for their allergies. If you can’t get your hands on a teal pumpkin in time, simply using a separate bowl for your non-food items can make children with allergies feel included.
Be understanding of a variety of abilities
Saying “trick or treat” and “thank you” may seem like the basics of trick-or-treating, but there are many kids who may have difficulties doing so. Do not require kids to do anything in order to get their treat. You may have visitors who are nonverbal, have anxiety, point to communicate, are not wearing costumes, or may seem too old for the festivities. Don’t force kids to say “trick-or-treat” or explain their costume before putting something in their bag.
Create a clear path for trick-or-treaters
Keep in mind that individuals celebrating Halloween may have mobility issues—so keeping your path clearly lit, avoiding stairs, and stationing your treats where it’s easy to approach your home makes the night safer for everyone.
Halloween should be a fun time for children and adults. Being mindful of accessibility and inclusivity concerns can help make sure this holiday can be enjoyed by more people—and making some simple changes to your Halloween routine can help create great memories.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It serves as a reminder of this pervasive issue that affects countless individuals and families worldwide. Learn more about the background behind this month, the impact of domestic violence, and the resources available.
The origin of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first observed in October 1989 as an effort to raise awareness about intimate partner violence and to promote advocacy, support, and education on this critical issue. Since its inception, organizations, individuals, and communities across the United States have joined forces to support survivors and raise awareness about domestic violence. During October, numerous events, campaigns, and educational programs are organized to shed light on the issue and provide information and resources to help individuals and communities confront domestic or intimate partner violence.
The impact of domestic violence
Domestic violence exists in every community and has an impact on individuals across the life span—and cuts across all boundaries, with no exceptions for age, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, or religion. Domestic violence includes both physical and emotional abuse. The devastating consequences of intimate partner violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people in the U.S. are physically abused by intimate partners each minute—with more than 10 million abuse victims annually. One in every 3 women and 1 in every 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner.
Domestic violence isn’t just something that happens between intimate partners—more than 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, with 90% of these children witnessing these acts of violence. Domestic violence can have long-lasting negative effects on children's emotional well-being and social and academic functioning.
Furthermore, new research investigates violence in teen relationships. Up to 19% of teens report that they have experienced sexual or physical dating violence, with half reporting experiences of stalking or harassment. Violence in teen relationships is associated with long-term adverse outcomes, including becoming involved in intimate partner violence in adulthood, drug and alcohol use, and an increase in other high-risk behaviors.
Increase in domestic violence since 2020
According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the lockdowns that occurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a global increase in domestic violence cases of 25–30% globally. The World Health Organization believes that number may have been as high as an increase of 50–60% due to hotline call volume. This underscores how widespread the issue of domestic violence is, and the importance of awareness, support, and resources to help survivors.
Resources for individuals experiencing domestic violence
There are a number of places to turn for support and education on domestic violence. Some of these resources include:
This Thursday, October 5, is National Depression Screening Day. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about depression, its prevalence, and the importance of early screening and intervention.
Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting more than 21 million American adults each year. National Depression Screening Day is dedicated to helping the 8.4% of adults who experience a major depressive episode each year.
The prevalence of depression
Depression is a widespread mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability globally. Depression can occur throughout the life span and can touch individuals of all genders and of all races. Yet only about one-third of people experiencing depression will seek mental health help.
Why National Depression Screening Day?
National Depression Screening Day was established to combat the stigma associated with mental health issues and to encourage individuals to seek help when they are struggling.
It is just as important to screen for depression as it is to screen for other physical health concerns. Though a depression screening is not a professional evaluation, it can help people spot early signs and help them seek treatment sooner.
Here are some key reasons why this day is crucial:
Resources for individuals and professionals
Anonymous online screenings for depression are offered by Mental Health America and MindWise Innovations. These assessments can help individuals gauge their risk and provide guidance on seeking professional help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline can help guide individuals to find treatment.
For professionals, PAR offers a variety of products to help assess individuals for depression. Learn more about our assessment tools.
A focus on mental health
National Depression Screening Day serves as a reminder that mental health is an integral part of our overall wellbeing. Depression is a common and treatable condition, but it often goes unrecognized or untreated. By dedicating a day to depression awareness and screening, we can reduce stigma, encourage early detection, and provide vital resources to those in need. On October 5, take a moment to spread the message of hope, support, and understanding in the fight against depression. Together, we can make a positive impact on the mental health of individuals and our communities.
Suicide is a major mental health concern that devastates lives and causes unimaginable pain. Its impact devastates individuals, families, and communities. Suicide rates have been rising globally, yet it is a complex and multifaceted issue. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, honored each September, holds significant importance in bringing attention to this public health concern.
The current state of suicide
According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people die by suicide every year, making it the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 29 years old. According to the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a 37% increase in suicide rates over the past two decades in the United States. And certain populations are at a higher risk—according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide are evident in 45% of LGBTQ youth. Individuals in the LGBTQ community, as well as veterans and members of Indigenous communities face unique challenges that contribute to their increased vulnerability to suicide.
Some key facts on suicide from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) include:
The importance of suicide prevention awareness
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month plays a vital role in challenging the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health. By fostering open conversations and promoting awareness, mental health professionals can create a supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking help. Awareness initiatives also aim to educate the public to more easily recognize warning signs and encourage intervention.
Promoting awareness and involvement
In the realm of mental and public health, suicide stands as a formidable adversary that demands our immediate attention. Suicide is a topic that many people do not feel comfortable addressing, even if they sense someone may be struggling. Here are five ways you can promote awareness and engage in honest and public conversations about suicide:
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of addressing suicide as a public health issue. It is essential to raise awareness, promote understanding, and facilitate early intervention. By collaborating with communities, schools, and other organizations, we can collectively work toward reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and providing support to those in need.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The Jason Foundation
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
After a traumatic event, it is common for individuals to experience stress reactions. However, when symptoms exist for longer than a few months, a person may be experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to recent research, about 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the U.S. population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
June 27 has been named PTSD Awareness Day to help more people understand the scope and impact of this disorder and to provide those affected with paths to healing.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition that individuals may develop after experiencing or witnessing traumatic events. Although often associated with combat veterans, PTSD can impact any person of any age after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.
Individuals with PTSD may experience nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood that impact their ability to perform in their social life, work life, or other important activities.
PTSD is associated with a range of physical and psychological symptoms. In addition to the core symptoms of intrusive memories, avoidance, negative thoughts and mood, and increased arousal, individuals with PTSD may also experience difficulties with sleep, concentration, and interpersonal relationships.
Effective treatments are available for PTSD, with evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms and improving overall functioning.
Prevalence of PTSD
PTSD can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It commonly occurs in individuals who have experienced or witnessed events such as military combat, sexual assault, natural disasters, accidents, or serious injuries. PTSD is slightly more common among veterans than civilians. Furthermore, women are more likely to develop PTSD than men—in part due to the types of traumatic events women are more likely to experience.
Although PTSD first appeared in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, PTSD Awareness Day was not established until 2010. June 27 was selected in recognition of the birthday of Staff Sergeant Joe Biel, a National Guard service member who experienced PTSD after two tours in Iraq. Biel died by suicide in 2007. In 2014, the U.S. government decided the entire month of June should be recognized as PTSD Awareness Month.=
It is important to share resources and research about PTSD and its treatment. Here are a few places to turn to learn more:
Everyone can all help spread the word to raise PTSD awareness. Individuals, families, behavioral and mental health providers, and communities all play a vital role in addressing the needs of trauma survivors and individuals who are living with PTSD.
PAR offers several instruments and tools to help you help people with PTSD, including the TSI-2, TSCC, TSCYC, DAPS, and PSS.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health providers play a critical role in promoting awareness and working to improve the lives of others. Yet, compassion fatigue and burnout are very real issues for those in the field. Last week, the PAR blog explored the state of burnout among mental health professionals. This week, we look at the signs of burnout and provide solutions for self-care.
Mental health providers continue to face a workforce shortage and ongoing burnout risks. Organizations and individuals need to prioritize and implement strategies to prevent and reduce burnout.
Mental health professionals were understaffed and facing a mental health crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which only exacerbated the demands on a healthcare system already stretched beyond its breaking point.
According to the 2023 Mental Health America report, nationally, there are 350 patients to every mental health provider. However, the ratio widely varies from state to state; for example, the Massachusetts patient-to-provider ratio is 140:1, and in Alabama, it is 850:1.
The American Psychological Association conducted a survey in 2022 that found that more people required treatment for anxiety or depression than there were mental health professionals available to provide it. According to APA, 6 out of 10 practitioners claimed they had no opening to take on new cases, 46% said they couldn’t handle the demand, and 72% said their patient waitlists had only grown since the onset of the pandemic.
Seeing the demand and shortage of mental health professionals highlights just one pain point of many that mental health professionals contend with daily. Many mental health professionals are so passionate about attempting to meet the needs of their patients that they may sacrifice their own physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. Yet, even with this devotion, they realize that it still isn’t enough to be able to help everyone who needs help. It isn’t difficult to see why 45% psychologists reported feeling burned out in 2022.
Mental health professionals and organizations should not assume that their education, training, and experience make them immune from experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout. In fact, those in the mental health field need to be vigilant and watch for the signs that they themselves or others they work with may be experiencing burnout.
Signs of burnout
Three of the most common signs of burnout include:
Exhaustion: Individuals often feel emotionally exhausted or drained, unable to cope, and have low moods and energy. They may also experience physical symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems.
Loss of interest in work-related activities: Individuals often feel increasingly frustrated and stressed by their jobs. They may experience growing cynicism about their work environment or colleagues and emotionally withdraw and feel numb regarding their work.
Decreased effectiveness or performance: Burnout affects daily tasks at work or home. Individuals experiencing burnout may be pessimistic, have difficulty concentrating, lack creativity, and lack energy and enthusiasm.
Individuals, organizations, and the media have helped spread the word about burnout in healthcare, but that isn’t enough to prevent it from continuing. Organizations need to work to prevent and reduce burnout among mental healthcare staff.
Strategies to combat burnout
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) argues that organization-level interventions should target burnout using a “whole-organization approach” due to the complex nature of burnout with many root causes and drivers.
According to SAMHSA, there are six areas that organizations need to address through improvement strategies to work towards preventing and reducing burnout among mental health workers. These six areas are:
SAMHSA outlines several strategies that can aid organizations in combatting and addressing burnout, such as:
Although mental health professionals counsel others on the importance of self-compassion, it doesn’t mean they may not neglect its practice when it comes to themselves.
Self-care can help reduce stress, compassion fatigue, and other factors leading to burnout. Building the practice of self-care doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can gradually add in one or several of the following:
Practice self-compassion: Self-compassion may work as a protective factor against exposure to secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Individuals need to see themselves as more than their job and know they are also due kindness and understanding.
Eat a balanced diet: Workloads may be excessive, and it may be tempting to work through lunch to squeeze in another client, a meeting, or other work, but don’t do it! It is important to take a break to eat nutrient-dense foods to keep your energy levels up and to help combat daily stress.
Get enough sleep: It is important to prioritize getting enough sleep. The CDC reports that adults need at least 7 hours of sleep. Studies have shown that sacrificing sleep can lead to anxiety and stress and how stressful events are perceived.
Exercise: Even taking a brisk walk can help remove you from your work and create a much-needed break, which helps to counter chronic stress and boost mood. Aerobic activity can also contribute to feeling better and increase endorphins in the body.
Reach out: If you are experiencing burnout, contact your supervisor or human resources about your hours or workload. If you are a solo practitioner, take some time to decide what boundaries you may be able to create to allow yourself a break.
Use time off: Vacations and breaks from work help prevent burnout.
Practice stress reduction activities: Yoga, meditation, deep breathing can provide short, much-needed breaks in a busy day.
Socialize with colleagues: Taking time out to connect with peers can help with the feeling of connectedness and reduce emotional exhaustion.
Mental health professionals must take steps to prioritize your own health and well-being. This will not only help to prevent burnout, it means you will be your most effective self and equipped to provide your clients and students with the quality care they need.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health providers play a critical role in promoting awareness and working to improve the lives of others. Yet, compassion fatigue and burnout are very real issues for those in the field. For the next two weeks, the PAR blog will explore these issues within the mental health community and provide guidance on how those in the mental health field can prioritize self-care to protect their own mental health needs.
Mental health providers with prolonged or cumulative exposure to compassion stress may be vulnerable to burnout if early steps to counteract excessive empathetic involvement are not taken.
A major part of a mental health professional’s job is the ability to empathize with clients. Developing a successful therapeutic alliance leads to better outcomes and correlates with the capacity to identify, comprehend, and share an individual's feelings, thoughts, and experiences. However, prolonged exposure to distressing information can negatively affect a mental health professional and is a risk factor for secondary traumatic stress.
Studies have shown that health professionals have moderate to high levels of burnout and secondary traumatic stress, but few present the prevalence of compassion fatigue and burnout found among mental health professionals.
Past studies have reported that people who work in helping professions have prevalence rates of compassion fatigue ranging from 7.3% to 40% and estimate that 21% to 61% of mental health practitioners experience signs of burnout.
According to an APA survey, the number of psychologists who said they could not keep up with patient demand increased from 30% in 2020 to 41% in 2021 to 46% in 2022. Similar amounts were recorded in 2020 (41%) and 2021 (48%), with nearly half (45%) of respondents in 2022 reporting feeling burned out.
Secondary traumatic stress (compassion stress) negatively impacts mental health and can lead to psychological issues such as strained relationships, insomnia, poor sleep hygiene, severe depressive disorder, and compassion fatigue. Mental health providers with prolonged or cumulative exposure to compassion stress may be vulnerable to burnout if early steps to counteract excessive empathetic involvement are not taken.
Compassion fatigue is caused by extended exposure to traumatized individuals. Mental health providers belong to a profession that demands constant empathy. While empathy is essential to your work, persistent and excessive demands for empathy can become emotionally exhausting and depleting without adequate time to recharge.
Compassion fatigue stems from exposure to vicarious trauma and can affect people differently, but common signs to watch for include the following:
• Chronic emotional and physical exhaustion
• Anger or irritability
• Weight loss
• Increased anxiety or irrational fears
• Issues with intimacy
• Decreased sympathy and/or empathy toward patients or coworkers
• Dread in working with certain patients
• Negative feelings separate from the work environment about work, life, or others
• Negative coping behaviors, like alcohol and drug use
• Increased absenteeism
• Feelings of inequity and pessimism
• Low job satisfaction
Sometimes compassion fatigue and burnout are used interchangeably. There is a distinction. The onset of compassion fatigue is more abrupt, whereas burnout develops gradually over time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been fully managed.” The WHO's definition of burnout distinguishes that “burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
There are three key signs of burnout, which include:
• Exhaustion: Individuals often feel emotionally exhausted or drained, unable to cope, and have low moods and energy. They may also experience physical symptoms such as GI problems.
• Loss of interest in work-related activities: Individuals often feel increasingly frustrated and stressed by their jobs. They may experience growing cynicism about their work environment or colleagues and emotionally withdraw and feel numb regarding their work.
• Decreased effectiveness or performance: Burnout affects daily tasks at work or home, and individuals are often very pessimistic, have difficulty concentrating, lack creativity, and lack energy and enthusiasm.
Mental health professionals work with patients with mild to severe depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, neglect, addiction, and other mental health illnesses, all of which can take an emotional, mental, and psychological toll on providers. Aside from the psychosocial issues, Patel and colleagues divide the contributing factors for provider burnout into workplace, organizational, and personal characteristics.
There are many factors related to the workplace, such as excessive workloads, increased stress levels in overworked providers, the need to keep meticulous records, and time-consuming clerical duties. One national survey found that each hour spent interacting with patients added 1-2 hours of additional work with no additional compensation. Long work hours, lack of downtime at night or during the weekend, and the need to bring work home instead of taking time for themselves are also factors in burnout.
Organizational factors include negative leadership behaviors, little to no reward or room for advancement, poor social support, and lack of interpersonal collaboration.
Personal characteristics include self-criticism, unhealthy coping strategies, perfectionism, poor work-life balance, poor sleep habits or lack of sleep, and inadequate support systems outside of work may also contribute to burnout. Studies have also shown that new and younger health providers have twice as much stress as older colleagues. Age and gender may impact levels of burnout, and studies have shown that younger workers and women may be at higher risk for burnout.
There are many downstream effects that burnout causes, such as:
• Providers are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, depression, or substance dependence.
• Providers who lose their empathy could invite secondary harm to patients.
• Increased healthcare costs are more common when providers suffer from burnout.
• Compassion fatigue may lead to decreased retention and increased turnover and may lead some mental health professionals to leave the field.
Though empathy is the cornerstone of a strong connection and ability to treat and improve the mental health of their patients, mental health professionals must remember to prioritize their own physical and mental health. For health professionals to give their patients the best care possible and enhance client's quality of life, taking time off from work is essential to unplug, decompress, and practice self-care.
Come back next week to learn self-care tips meant specifically for those in the mental health field.