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Compassion Fatigue Online Series: The Opioid Epidemic - Increasing Knowledge and Skills for Behavioral Health Providers

Compassion fatigue increases stress and results in lost productivity, staff turnover, and overall poor organizational health. Professionals in behavioral health or “helping profession” settings are at risk for developing secondary traumatic stress, depression, and/or burnout as they attend to others’ needs.  Priorities for clinicians, recovery support specialists, and caregivers are to interact with their clients to promote and model healthy coping behaviors. However, their own needs are often overlooked in discussions about addressing compassion fatigue in the workforce.

This 4-part recorded series will address the capacity of behavioral health professionals to address compassion fatigue in the workforce, especially in the wake of the opioid epidemic. Specifically, this online series will investigate compassion fatigue, as well as compassion satisfaction, and provide practical tools to build awareness, self-compassion, and psychological flexibility as they choose a life of service to others.

Part I: Compassion Fatigue: How did we get here?
Presenter: Erin Winstanley, Ph.D.

This presentation will provide a brief summary of the mortality associated with the opioid epidemic; describe the impact of the opioid epidemic on first responders, the clinical workforce, and communities; and identify responses to address compassion fatigue.

Part II: Alleviating Distress: Providing Compassion when Exhausted
Presenter: Kathryn Speck, Ph.D.

The aim of this presentation is to increase the capacity of behavioral health professionals to identify the interrelated components of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and secondary trauma, with a focus on strategies that are critical to wellness and increasing resilience. 

Part III: Compassion Fatigue: Survival Starts Here
Presenter: Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC

This presentation will demonstrate how to create a plan for protection, identify symptoms, and determine how to seek help if you believe you have compassion fatigue.

Part IV: Creating a Shelter from the Storm: Reflection and Discussion
Presenters: Erin Winstanley, Ph.D., Kathryn Speck, Ph.D., and Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC

In this session, the presenters will summarize the Compassion Fatigue Webinar Series and offer best and promising practices and provide recommendations for healthy organizations and practitioners. To close out the session, the presenters will answer questions gathered from participants throughout the series.