Dealing with secondary traumatic stress as a mental health professional

I currently work in a field that requires me to offer help and support for those who are struggling with mental health issues. As I listen to their stories, I often find myself overwhelmed by empathy and compassion for these individuals. Sometimes this can lead to what is known as secondary traumatic stress - overwhelming feelings of sadness, helplessness or guilt caused by hearing stories of trauma or suffering.

In order to maintain my emotional well-being while still loving my job, it’s important for me to reach out for support from other professionals who understand the specific struggles of our unique line of work. That could mean talking openly about my feelings with a friend or colleague, or finding a counselor or therapist that specializes in working with professionals like myself. Additionally, setting boundaries when necessary and allowing myself time to de-stress and focus on self-care is key.

It’s so important that we look out for ourselves as people working in the mental health field – if we don’t take care of ourselves first, it can be hard to have effective results when helping others.