Public Health Caregiver
Protecting our Public Health Caregivers
Our public health caregivers are passionate, caring, and empathic people. They are the backbone of community health. Their capacity to care for others is their superpower. "Two years of COVID response have contributed to increased stress and burnout, as well post-traumatic stress symptoms, according to the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS)."
The "cost of caring" in human service professions like public health is experienced as compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, sacrifice syndrome, and burnout. According to the results of a National Survey of the Public Health Workforce, 56% of public health caregivers have reported at least 1 symptom of PTSD since the COVID-19 outbreak. Burnout and stress are cited as 2 of the top 5 reasons for leaving the public health profession.
Results of a National Survey of the Public Health Workforce
Those who care are at the highest risk of burning out.
What we know about burnout
Unchecked and accumulated stress in one’s professional life can reach a destructive tipping point where what innocuously begins as an “occupational identity crisis” generalizes to the entire self-concept of the human service professional (Vandenberghe & Huberman, 1999).
Burnout is a slow dis-integration of the public health caregiver that goes unnoticed over time and it reveals itself as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low self-efficacy.
The way a public health caregiver self-evaluates their capacity in meeting the demands of their job has a profound impact on how much stress they experience and internalize.
Healing and Heading-off Burnout
Fundamental elements to diminishing the negative impact of burnout in both the public health caregiver and the community care system include:
Raising awareness of the toxic stressors of the profession that drive burnout
Proactively integrating institutional support for caregivers that allows them to feel seen, witnessed, and cared for
Systematically and strategically engaging caregivers in evidence-based professional learning experiences that invite them to learn how to manage and mitigate the impact of toxic stress and metabolize stress in a way that drives deeper connections to the self and one's calling as a public health caregiver
Providing ongoing, sustained support for caregivers to engage healing and restoration practices in a community setting
The Healing Public Health Caregiver ProjectTM is an experience and evidence-based curriculum of emotional healing, mental health, and burnout restoration designed for public health caregivers. We know that our public health caregivers "support and maximize human and system capacity and potential" (Kreitzer and Koithan, 2019), and our curriculum is designed to support and maximize their capacity and potential.
Our curriculum and preventative healing and restoration practices are innovative and impactful, and we design learning experiences for health caregivers that draw on MINDFULNESS, NEUROSCIENCE, TRANSFORMATION THEORY, adult SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL LEARNING, HEALTH EQUITY, and HEALING-CENTERED DESIGN to intentionally leverage the inherent stressors of the health care profession for learning the process for metabolizing toxic stressors, preventing burnout from taking root, and restoring mental and emotional resilience.
“Human beings are whole systems, inseparable from their environments, and have an innate capacity for health and well-being.” (Kreitzer and Koithan)
Through the The Healing Public Health Caregiver ProjectTM, we will:
learn the 3 R's of public health caregiver well-being, resilience, healing, and restoration,
explore the primary sources of toxic stress in public health caregiving,
discover and engage trauma-informed principles and practices to REGULATE, RELATE, and REASON in stressful moments in the public health field,
explore the 3 core competencies of self-compassion as a cure for compassion fatigue and secondary trauma,
learn how to engage the 4 core well-being elements of Infinite Well-Being ModelTM so to metabolize a trigger into a moment of resilience and restoration,
engage practices for protecting their energy from being fully depleted by their calling to heal while stoking autonomy and professional agency
engage an evidence-based C.A.R.E Model to explore the core concepts of health equity: examining assumptions, perspective taking, unconditional positive regard (asset-based approach), agency, and sharing power
TRAINING DESIGN and DELIVERY
The Healing Public Health Caregiver ProjectTM is a professional development experience that can be customized to fit your unique professional learning needs. All training sessions and formats include:
Direct instruction on current, evidence-based foundational knowledge and data about health care professional burnout, compassion fatigue, resilience, and healing.
Mindful mental health meditation practices that calm a busy mind and settle the nervous system
Gentle mindful moment practices that strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system's relaxation response
Put Into Practice training handbook that outlines detailed well-being practices to integrate into one's professional and personal life
The Public Health Caregiver
When caregivers are stressed and experiencing burnout, it is easy to forget the power of their presence in their caregiving. In this foundations workshop, caregivers connect with their purpose and calling. We then discuss how one's calling as a caregiver is intimately intertwined with one's emotional and mental health.
We discuss the 3 R's ~REST, RESTORATION, REVITALIZATION~ of health caregiver emotional healing and mental health.
Health caregivers are given two things they need most, time and space, to re-connect with their purpose and passion while they engage and learn soothing body-awareness practices that settle a busy mind and overactive nervous system.
This session sets the foundational concepts of the 3 R's of Public Health Caregiver Restoration and Healing
Explore the core sources of stress in the health care field
Rediscover one's purpose, calling, and values as a health caregiver
Explore the origins of joy and flow in one's role as a health caregiver and learn why joy is essential to caregiver effectiveness
Explore the 3 R's~ REST, RESTORATION, REVITALIZATION~ of health caregiver well-being
Engage and experience mind-body healing practices that calm a busy mind and sooth the nervous system so to relieve anxiety and overwhelm
Explore how one's presence has a profound impact on patient care and well-being
Tuesday, January 17th
*Wear comfortable clothes you can move in.
Session 1: ONLINE Resources
SETTLE and SAFEGUARD YOUR BODY
These are some of the top apps and online resources for guided breath work and body scan practices.
We start our work together with the most foundational aspect of well-being: NOTICING what your mind is up to
NOTICING how your body feels
BEING able to direct your full attention (even for just 5 minutes a day) to your breath and body
4 Core Topic Trainings
3 hours each
"Acting slow in the quick meeting means that the nurse-patient relationship is characterized by calmness and quietness, the nurse’s engagement in the patient’s suffering and her help to the patient to endure the present and hold the now." (Dreyer, et al., 2018)
Busyness and time stress has become a predominate mode of being in many of our systems of care. When public health caregivers feel time-starved, it impacts their entire mind-body-spirit system. In this session, we explore how to create the "slow in the quick" where the health caregiver learns strategies and mindsets to care from a place of presence and patience even in the midst of the swiftness of time.
Core Topic Training #1
Managing Energy, Not Time
This session sets the foundational concepts of Burnout Awareness, Mental Health, and Energy Restoration
Explore the foundations of prioritizing one's wellbeing-- purpose, values, perspective, and presence
Cultivate burnout awareness/energy depletion:
What is burnout?
What does burnout do to the mind, body, and spirit of the health caregiver
What are the stages and manifestations of burnout?
How can I care for myself when I am suffering from burnout?
What is spiritual exhaustion and moral injury?
How does burnout exacerbate perfectionism?
Learn about the 3 core elements of mental health for caregivers to overcome perfectionism
Explore the #1 stressor for caregivers, time-stress, and learn how to create the "slow in the fast" in one's practice
Discover one's personal time-stress triggers that drive burnout and learn an evidence-based CARE practice for transforming a time trigger into greater presence
Engage and experience REST mind-body practices that slow the fast moving mind and body to create a sense of groundedness and stability in the present moment
Tuesday, February 14th
*Wear comfortable clothing you can move in.
Session 2: ONLINE Resources
Protecting your TIME and ENERGY
Yin yoga is different than traditional yoga. Yin yoga is done laying on the floor, and one is slowly guided through a couple poses that are designed to melt tension while cultivating inner awareness.
Yin yoga is designed to provide moderate amounts of healthy stress to the body's joints, connective tissue, and ligaments so to increase the flow of energy through the body's systems. Yin yoga is a deeply meditative practice that simultaneously calms a busy mind while stoking resilience and strength in the physical body.
Yin yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is soothing, compassionate, and nurturing. This practice of yoga alleviates tension, relieves stress, and increases the circulation of energy in the body.
Yin yoga directly benefits caregivers who have experienced burnout and toxic stress by providing a safe space to reconnect with the sensations in the body without being overwhelmed by them.
Setting Boundaries and Establishing ENOUGHNESS
Healing the Self Through Toxic Stress
Core Topic Training #2
"Healing is a practice. It's not a one-time thing or idea. If I get up and do a bunch of exercises and repeat them, over time my muscles with get stronger. Healing is a practice just like this." (M. Schroedl)
Our public health caregivers know better than most that healing is practice, and it requires attention, dedication, and commitment. Yet compassion fatigue and burnout inhibit a health caregiver's ability to turn their healing attention on themselves. In this session, we focus our attention on specific practices that health caregivers can leverage THROUGH stressful moments to transfigure toxic stress into moments of self-care and self-healing.
This session sets the foundational concepts of Toxic Stress, Trauma Reactions, and Healing
Explore the toxic stress impact and it's connection to trauma:
What is toxic stress vs. healthy/productive stress?
How does toxic stress create trauma in the body?
What is productive/healthy stress?
What are the different stages of a trigger?
Discover one's personal triggers that drive trauma reactions and learn an evidence-baed H.E.A.L practice for transforming a trigger into healing, insight, and mental health
Explore the 4 models of Attachment and reflect on how trauma resides in the nervous system
Engage and experience RESTORATIVE mind-body practices that settle and safeguard the body and befriend the nervous system
Tuesday, March 28th
*Wear comfortable clothing you can move in.
Session 3: ONLINE Resources
HEALING Through Toxic Stress
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing Mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic (in 1979), and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (in 1995).
I love Dr. Nadine Burke Harris! While video talks about the toxic stress response in children, you may find it helpful if you are a survivor of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences). Dr. Burke Harris writes about how to heal from ACEs and the impact of toxic stress on our bodies. These resources will be beneficial if as you explore your triggers, you discover that some have their roots in childhood trauma.
*If you discover roots of your triggers have their origins in childhood trauma, please be gentle with yourself and seek the professional support that mental health therapists can provide for you.
Core Topic Training #3
Compassionate Public Health Caregivers
“It’s critical to realize that this epidemic of compassion fatigue is a shared responsibility. Individuals are not going to ‘resilience their way’ out of this. The medical system and culture of medicine have to change.” Oana Tomescu, MD
We believe that the calling to be a public health caregiver is about care and healing for the communities they serve, AND we believe that public health caregivers were called to this healing work not only to heal others but to heal themselves. We believe that the stress of the profession can produce incredible depths of compassion and care, and not just for patients. We believe that public health caregivers can learn strategies, perspectives, habits, and ways of being in relationship to stress and PTSD that stoke self-witnessing, self-compassion, and unconditional positive regard. Compassion for the self begets compassion for those in one's care. Compassion heals burnout, secondary trauma, and compassion fatigue.
This session sets the foundational concepts of Relationship Revitalization and Compassionate Caregiving
Learn and practice the 3 core elements of self-compassion while exploring how self-compassion has protective properties that stave off secondary trauma and compassion fatigue
Explore the difference between compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary trauma
Experience the C.A.R.E healing module for revitalizing relationships based on deep listening and empathy
Discover one's personal triggers that drive compassion fatigue
Learn an evidence-based C.A.R.E practice for strengthening healthy relationships and social connections in the workplace where all feel safe, significant, and valued
Engage and experience REVITALIZING mind-body practices that activate the "soul nerve" and drive connection with those in our care
Tuesday, April 25th
*Wear comfortable clothing you can move in.
Session 4: ONLINE Resources
This session explores the foundational concepts of Health Equity and how they can become cultivated, practiced, and embodied
Explore the core concepts of health equity: examining assumptions, perspective taking, unconditional positive regard (asset-based approach), agency, and sharing power
Explore how core concepts of health equity are practiced and embodied through the C.A.R.E Model
Experience and practice how the C.A.R.E Model promotes the cultivation of the core concepts of health equity within the self so to embody asset-based community engagement
Core Topic Training #4
“SHIP recognizes that our lived experiences with other people and our natural environment have a profound impact on the physical, mental, and social dimensions of our health. The intersection of these dimensions determines our state of well-being.
To optimize well-being, people require conditions that allow them to feel that they belong, and that they are safe, significant, and valued."
Tuesday, May 16th
*Wear comfortable clothing you can move in :)
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