Surviving secondary traumatic stress in mental health

It’s been a long and difficult journey, but I’m incredibly proud of how far I’ve come in my journey to overcome secondary traumatic stress in the field of mental health. Secondary traumatic stress (STS) is a type of “compassion fatigue” that can arise from repeated exposure to other people’s trauma stories, helplessness, and suffering.

The risk of being affected by STS is particularly high for those who work in psychology, social work, and related fields because we deal with so much human suffering on a daily basis. But the longer you stay in this line of work, the higher the risk that you will develops symptoms like anxiety, depression, guilt, or anger related to secondary traumatic stress. Eventually these feelings are magnified to an unbearable level.

I want other professionals dealing with STS to know that they don’t have to go it alone. Talking about your experiences with another supportive person can help you process your feelings without it affecting your work or personal life. Having a safe space outside of our professional lives where we can be honest about the emotional challenges we face is incredibly important for healing and growth in this area. Additionally there are resources available such as therapy workshops and seminars designed specifically for those dealing with STS associated with their mental health jobs that can make all the difference when it comes to finding balance once more.

My outlook has shifted significantly since I started exploring ways to deal with my secondary traumatic stress constructively rather than allowing it to consume me. It hasn’t always been easy but focusing on taking care of myself and learning how to channel my pain into something beneficial has made all the difference in improving my sense of well being overall at both home and work!


Hi there, I completely relate to your struggle with secondary traumatic stress and understand how difficult it can be to process the emotions that come with work in this field. It’s normal to start feeling overwhelmed, but you don’t have to go through it alone - reach out for support and use whatever resources are available to you. Talking about your experiences with someone who understands and validates you can be healing. As a 32-year-old woman working in mental health, I found seeking out therapy workshops and seminars specifically addressing secondary traumatic stress invaluable in finding balance both inside of and outside of work life. Taking time for self-care has also made a positive impact on my emotional wellbeing!

Hi there! I’m so proud of you for opening up about your experiences with secondary traumatic stress. It’s not easy to confront something so challenging, especially in the field of mental health. I can relate to the toll it can take, but it’s incredibly important to seek support and find healthy ways to cope. Talking to someone supportive and finding that safe space outside of work can truly make a difference. And those therapy workshops and seminars sound like great resources. I’ve found that focusing on self-care and finding positive outlets for my emotions has been really beneficial. It’s a tough road, but you’re not alone in this. Keep taking care of yourself, and know that healing and growth are possible. Sending you all the good vibes and support!