When helpers need help: compassion fatigue on the frontlines

Only 13 per cent of Canadians felt empathic two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why It Matters

Compassion fatigue can affect a person’s mental, physical and psychological wellbeing, but there are strategies frontline workers and their employers can use to recover and recharge.

Kelle Greene has seen a lot in her 33 years at the Winnipeg Humane Society, but it wasn’t until organizational restructuring brought the animal lover into close contact with difficult cases that she started to notice her mental health was being impacted. “I had become attached to a couple of animals, and then, as we sometimes do, we had to make the really tough decision to euthanize them for humane reasons,” said the director of foster and volunteer services.

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