Mental Health Experts Warn Of 'Compassion Fatigue'

Wednesday, May 11th 2022, 6:26 am

Mental health professionals are warning that “compassion fatigue” is taking a toll on many people as the war on Ukraine continues.

Compassion fatigue is a term used when there are several continuous large and difficult events happening, causing people to get run down from always feeling the need to help.

Trauma therapist Alina Garbuz said much of the current compassion fatigue began with the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. She says with the ongoing pandemic, political events, people losing their jobs, and now the war on Ukraine, people who have a lot of compassion for others are struggling with their physical and mental health.

Garbuz said the main thing people can do is accept the things they cannot change and keep their own bodies in good physical shape. She said eating healthy, exercising, and having a good support system are key.

“If you neglect the practices, before too long your body is going to break down,” Garbuz said. “As we all should know now, prevention is more effective than intervention.”

If you are in need of immediate mental health help, you can also call 211 to be connected to mental health resources.

Garbuz said being realistic with what you can do in these situations is important. She tells us it’s often not possible for you to be the person to fix a situation, especially when it’s something as big as a war or global pandemic.

“The intent and motivation in these situations should be “I’m going to go and join and accompany people in their journey, not rescue them or save them, that’s unrealistic,” Garbuz said.

Garbuz says being there for your loved ones emotionally and having people who are able to do the same for you is the best way to cope and not get mentally burnt out.