Workforce Vicarious Trauma: Management Guidelines
Kate Bishop, MSSA
January 13, 2021, 1-2 PM EST
The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought incredibly challenging working conditions to many in health and human services fields. Many workers are logging on remotely and struggling with simultaneous demands like homeschooling children or caring for a sick family member, while others may be grieving unfathomable losses or managing a personal mental health crisis while trying to carry on for the sake of the vulnerable populations they serve. Studies have diagrammed a predictable cascade of trauma-worker mental health difficulties, starting with burnout, progressing through compassion fatigue, and tumbling into a vicarious trauma condition. Vicarious trauma can leave helpers feeling helpless, struggling with the cumulative weight of the stories they’ve heard and seen. Some may develop trauma responses like hypervigilance, nightmares, clinical anxiety and depression that impact their personal functioning, work performance, and job retention. This webinar will introduce what we know about how vicarious trauma impacts individuals, examine how the current crisis exacerbates these conditions, and offer supportive attitudes, interventions, and policies for managers and supervisors to implement.
- Describe the impact of witnessing and assisting trauma survivors on health and human service workers.
- Examine the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown measures on workers who staff the social safety net.
- Develop a toolbox of supervisory attitudes, skills, and interventions designed to support front line workers who are dealing with vicarious trauma.
- Explore best practices, policy guidance, and implementation considerations in becoming a trauma-informed workplace.
Kate Bishop, MSSA, the Education Coordinator at the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton, is a seasoned professional development trainer with expertise in working with LGBTQ populations, sexual and reproductive health care, adolescent development, intimate partner violence, and sexual trauma. She is certified as a trainer through GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) as well as SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). Before joining the Chase Brexton team, she developed the capacity building program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s STAR TRACK Adolescent HIV program, providing cultural responsiveness trainings for agencies that serve sexual minority youth of color. Ms. Bishop holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from Hiram College and a Masters in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University.