I am a registered psychologist based in Adelaide. For over three decades I have listened to countless stories regarding all manner of tragedy and loss pertaining to the human journey and I have supported people through harrowing times to a place of recovery and well-being.
My introduction to compassion fatigue began whilst I was preparing a seminar for a group of mental and medical health professionals on the topic of burnout. I came across a term which was new to me; compassion fatigue. Researching further, it became evident that there was an overwhelming cost to those who care for others and that, as a psychologist, I was suffering unknowingly with some of the symptoms. My seasoned audience had not heard of the term either and they too were ticking the symptom boxes.
Since then, I have become mindful of how I practice, consciously including myself in the circle of compassion along with those whom I support.
Further to this, I also made it my business to raise awareness of compassion fatigue, because the condition has been largely overlooked as a Health Welfare and Safety issue.
Most significantly, the symptoms are difficult to identify and the process of deterioration is cumulative and insidious. Sadly, organisations are losing good people and years of industry knowledge, necessary skills, and caring attitudes imperative to organisations providing services to the vulnerable and distressed.
The circle of suffering is further widened when traumatised and emotionally depleted workers bring their stress home, having nothing left of themselves to give their loved ones.
I have facilitated Compassion Fatigue Awareness training to palliative care workers, retirement home managers, teachers, domestic violence workers, community workers, local government leaders, nurses, veterinarians and their teams.
Compassion Fatigue Australia is here to support the well-being and resilience of those who faithfully give of themselves daily to alleviate the suffering of others.