Secondary Traumatic Stress and Self-Care
It takes compassion and empathy to be a great advocate for children, especially children who have endured trauma. Being highly empathetic is an amazing and important quality to possess; however, forgetting to take care of ourselves can leave us emotionally and physically drained and more susceptible to various mental health challenges such as compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress.
The work you do is important and impactful. However, you must take care of yourself to best help others. The strength and stability to the foundation to one’s mental and physical health is based on how well or not we take care of it. There’s a quote that many of us who grew up in Spanish speaking families heard many times “mente sana=cuerpo sano” (healthy mind=healthy body”). This quote is as relevant and important now as it was then!
The Secondary Traumatic Stress and Self-Care webinar was intended to support professionals currently working with traumatized unaccompanied children by raising awareness about compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress. This webinar provides information on the signs and symptoms to look out for and offers potential strategies you can implement, (such as strengthening your protective factors and outlining your self-care routine) to help mitigate and prevent these stressors. It is accompanied by handouts that offer additional resources. The materials can be found HERE.
“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” – Dalai Lama
CILA would like to thank Kasey Wolff, M.Ed.,LPC, Supervising Counselor and Megan Heath, counseling intern with The Alliance for their collaboration and insight on this important topic.
From: Marissa Barrera, LMSW and Hannah Gill, Social Work Intern