How To Combat Compassion Fatigue:

Fortunately, there are many strategies one can implement to proactively and reactively combat compassion fatigue. Organizations can set their employees up for success by creating an open, supportive, and communicative culture. This includes asking employees to provide feedback on policy decisions and job functions, providing staff with Employee Assistance Programs and benefits, eliminating or modifying workplace stressors (e.g., limiting case loads), scheduling time to debrief, and offering training opportunities.

Coffee mug illustrationAt the individual level, a person should take note of what their warning signs look like, such as working past designated hours, social isolation, or increased use of drugs or alcohol, and share these indicators with coworkers and loved ones to set up accountability. Self-care is a key ingredient in warding off compassion fatigue, and includes taking care of one’s mental and physical health, relationships, engaging in positive self-talk, engaging in joyful activities, and ensuring responsibilities are being prioritized. Creating a list of these items and actively scheduling them into one’s calendar can help set you up for success.

If you’re feeling like your once-loved-job is leaving you drained and unhappy, or your caretaking duties at home are leaving you feeling like you wish you had a caregiver of your own, it could be helpful to meet with a career or personal counsellor. If you are noticing that your company is experiencing turn-over, employee dissatisfaction, or burn out, consider scheduling a workshop with a member of our team who’ll come speak to your organization about compassion fatigue. Our team is equipped with knowledge to identify the cause of these symptoms, assess for compassion fatigue, and help you strategize how best to begin your self-care and recovery.

For more information on combating compassion fatigue, check out this video.


Nicole Pesta
Registered Provisional Psychologist
Calgary Career Counselling
Synthesis Psychology