Mental Health First Aid and Compassion Fatigue
Working in Mental Health First Aid means being in a position, day in and day out, of dealing with other peoples issues. One day you could be dealing with someone who is stressed and overwhelmed. The next day it could be helping someone with anxiety or a panic attack. You might have to help someone navigate through feeling low or even depression. There is no doubt that mental health first aid provides a varied role, but it is also a role that can take its toll on your health.
Compassion fatigue is a term that is used to describe the physical, emotional and psychological impact of helping others. It often manifests as signs of burnout which is experienced as consistent fatigue, dissatisfaction or even frustration. Be under no illusion, compassion fatigue is very real when working in the area of mental health first aid.
Being in the area of mental health first aid can often place you in stressful situations. To be a mental health first aider you must have a sense of compassion and empathy for others. This means that you will not like to see them suffering and that effects you in a deep way. If your workplace is a stressful place to be, you may find yourself dealing with a multitude of differing mental health issues. This, in itself, is the very start of compassion fatigue building within you.
It is important for everyone who works in mental health first aid to have an outlet, a support system to call on. Without this they, themselves, may well become someone who needs a mental health first aider. That support system should, ideally, de in the form of regular professional help. Just like any counsellor or therapist are required to attend supervision sessions with another trained professional, those who practice mental health first aid should be required to do so as well.
Mental Health First Aid Professional Supervision
Professional supervision should become a necessity for any business that has mental health first aid within its workforce. Without a doubt, any person who takes on such a role should be provided with regular professional assistance. By regular, it is suggested that they should have a session with that professional supervisor at least once per month. However, this should not be limited to just once a month as, if they are suffering with that burnout experience, professional help should be available quickly.
Are you a business owner, director or HR professional who has mental health first aid within their prevue? If so, you need to look for professional support for those within your care. At Priority Mind Management we offer that professional service for you so that your mental health first aiders do not become a part of the group of people they are working to help.
Our mental health first aider support system is available to all businesses who have mental health first aiders. They do not have to have been through our training, we want to ensure that all people who take up this role are supported in their own wellbeing. Do you? Please get in touch today, simply fill in the form below and we will get back to you to talk through your options.
Support your mental health first aiders, support your entire team through them.