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Burnout - This really affects Harm Reduction Workers



In the caring profession, burnout is a major issue. People who work in the Harm Reduction sector are caring, full of empathy and of with a high level of emotional intelligence. These characteristics are the key attributes of a great social worker. However, these same characteristics also leave the person susceptible to burnout.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently updated its definition of Burnout as

"a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed".

The three symptoms listed are:


  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

  • increased mental distance from one's job or feeling negative towards one's career

  • reduced professional productivity

Over the course of the last five years in One-Use, I have noticed that many of the people that we have spoken with have frequently referred to themselves or their colleagues being on sick leave or extended leave. It is almost seen as a given.

Burnout not only has a detrimental effect on the person themselves, but also has a negative effect on the performance of the person in their day-to-day activities. The negative effects make it more difficult for the person to be compassionate to the people around them both at work and at home.

In an effort to provide some assistance to Harm Reduction workers to avoid Burnout, we have joined forces with the wonderful Siobhán Murray. Siobhán (pronounced Shivaun) is a licensed psychotherapist who has developed an on-line program to provide workers in the front line with the strategies and tools that they need to re-invigorate themselves and avoid stress. This course is tutor-led and delivered over 10 weeks.

We are now taking bookings for this fantastic course. If you want to learn more about this course, please click here.



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