Many professionals who work with people with refugee experience, have chosen this work due to their strong commitment to social justice and human rights. The deep care that educators and school staff have for students and their families can make this work very rewarding, but can also make professionals vulnerable to stress, burnout and vicarious trauma.
At Hints for Healing, we recognise that helping professionals (such as educators, counsellors and social workers) are people first and professionals second. What’s more, we do our best work when our own needs for balance, sleep, education, exercise, socialising, a healthy diet, mentorship and a supportive work environment are met. Through Hints for Healing, we seek to support the mental health and wellbeing of educators and school counsellors by presenting research, tips, professional learning, and resources on topics such as self-care, vicarious resilience, support avenues and minimising the impacts of vicarious trauma.
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In addition to the resources you find here at Hints for Healing, there are several other ways that STARTTS supports the wellbeing of educators and school counsellors:
- A suite of Professional Learning modules and tailored training sessions, free of charge for schools. Flexible approaches to delivery, including face to face and virtual presentations, interactive workshops and guest speakers.
- Specialist consultation services to educators and counsellors working with students with refugee experience
- Collegial networks of educators and school counsellors who work with students with refugee experiences.
Vicarious Trauma and Resilience: Self Care and Seeking Support
Self-compassion is presented as a helpful foundational framework for nurturing good self-care. John Arden’s SEEDS model is then discussed in detail and recommended as a model for taking stock of the precursors for good mental and physical health for both clients/students and the practitioners. The importance of reaching out and seeking support in both professional and private domains is emphasised as a critical self-care skill for professionals in the helping professions.