The Need for CCCS...
Emotional stress is an occupational hazard for those providing client-facing services for people in need. Susceptible occupations with acknowledged need for Emotional Self-Care include: First Responders (Police, Ambulance, Fire), Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Chaplains, Care Providers, etc…Including: community volunteers and faith-based ministries. This stress can be manifested in the form of Burn-out and Compassion Fatigue.
Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterised by three dimensions:
1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
2. Increased mental distance from one’s job and feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
3. Reduced professional efficacy
Burn-out is now officially defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the latest international diagnostic code standards (ICD-11).
Compassion Fatigue (also called vicarious traumatisation, secondary traumatisation, or secondary PTSD) is the emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. It differs from Burn-out, but can co-exist. Compassion Fatigue can occur due to exposure on one case or can be due to a “cumulative” level of trauma. Symptoms include:
- Fear in situations that others would not think were frightening
- Excessive worry that something bad will happen to you, your loved ones, or your colleagues
- Being easily startled, or feeling “jumpy” or “on guard” all of the time
- Feeling wary of every situation and expecting a traumatic outcome
- Physical signs like a racing heart, shortness of breath, and increased tension headaches
- A sense of being haunted by the troubles you see and hear from others and not being able to stop thinking about them
- The feeling that others’ trauma is yours.