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Youth workers who routinely hear traumatic stories may take on their clients’ feelings of pain and hopelessness. Others feel overly stressed or tired. These symptoms may be signs of secondary trauma, and they can be prevented and managed through self-care—taking care of your physical, emotional and mental needs so you can better help others. Here are some resources we recommend for youth workers seeking to develop a self-care routine:
“Release: Self-Care for Trauma Workers” tells the stories of three youth workers who deal with work-induced stress and trauma with arts and meditation. The 12-minute short film comes with a discussion guide.
The University of Buffalo School of Social Work offers a series of self-care tools to help social workers examine their lifestyles, develop a self-care plan and overcome barriers to seeing that plan through.
A fact sheet (PDF, 724KB) from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network explains the impact of secondary traumatic stress on child-serving professionals and provides tips for creating a supportive environment at your organization.