Presenting the Practice — September Units of Service Meeting for Post-Permanency Services
One of the topics of the September Post-Permanency Units of Service Meeting was recognizing secondary trauma or compassion fatigue. Affiliate workers at the meeting were given the opportunity to share some of their self-care techniques and ways their agencies work proactively with their employees to combat secondary trauma. Some of those include:
- Group supervision – These meetings enable workers to share cases and receive a variety of feedback from one another. Diverse opinions help them see their cases with fresh eyes and suggest new approaches.
- Celebration day – This is a monthly opportunity for workers to spend time focusing on the positive aspects of the job and recognize their successes with one another.
- De-briefing – This can be formal or informal, with supervisors or co-workers. Allowing workers to share their frustrations in a nonjudgmental environment can reduce job stress.
- Mental health days – Sometimes workers just need a chance to decompress and step away from the job. Agency acceptance of those days and encouragement to take time off can help reduce job stress levels in employees.
In addition to actions employers can take to mitigate secondary trauma, workers can be proactive about their own mental health. Some examples of stress-relieving activities they shared include:
- Playing, listening to music
- Spending time with pets
- Phoning a friend
- Maintaining healthy relationships