Not all organisations are created equal. Organisations whose core business involves high stress, trauma subjected populations and circumstances require a unique approach. This is because continual exposure to trauma and suffering has a profound impact on organisational health and capacity. One might ask, given the nature of the work, who’s responsibility is it to ensure overall wellbeing at the individual and organisational level?

The answer is that we are all in this together. A three-pronged focus of responsibility is required to mitigate risk of compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary traumatic stress.

The Organisation

The organisation has a responsibility to raise awareness and create an environment of genuine care, for its workforce, that is linked to its strategic plan and embedded in its culture. The time has well and truly come to move beyond an individual model of stress, to one encompassing the broader organisational and social factors.

Looking out for one another

From a co-worker perspective: a thoughtfulness amongst peers to support their colleagues. For example, peer support, informal team lunches and rituals to mark and acknowledge loss.


The individual needs to take personal responsibility to develop awareness and understanding and to ensure the utmost level of commitment to their own well-being. Regular acts of self-compassion are a remedy to fatigue. A way of giving back to ourselves through the very act of compassion we so generously afford others.