PTSD: National Center for PTSD
Self Help Social
Provider PTSD Toolkit
Workplace SupportWorkplace support is a significant resource for those at risk for burnout. The most consistent finding in this regard is a relationship between workplace support and personal accomplishment.38 Supervisor support has been negatively related to emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and positively related to personal accomplishment.38
Additionally, management attention to work rules and structure has been shown to be a strong protective factor against burnout.33 For instance, individuals who report more control at work report less emotional exhaustion, less depersonalization of clients, and a greater sense of personal accomplishment.38
Supervision and Consultation
Supervision and ConsultationProfessional mentoring and supervision is one of the most valuable sources of support sought by therapists. Effective supervision has been found in many settings to be associated with lower levels of STS and burnout, and higher levels of personal growth and satisfaction, for both new and experienced clinicians working with trauma survivors.1,39-44 If you are feeling like you need more professional guidance, talk with your supervisor to review your options.
The VA PTSD Consultation Program is available to all providers who have questions about helping Veterans with PTSD. The clinicians on the consultation team are available by email or phone to answer questions about screening, resources, education, and anything else related to Veterans and trauma. They can also assist with the process of referring Veterans to VA care. Contact them at PTSDconsult@va.gov or 866-948-7880.
Collegial SupportGetting support from your colleagues, or other trusted peers, can help reduce work-related stress. Mental health professionals report that valuable support comes from colleagues.38
Improving relationships among colleagues may also be an effective means to address job burnout. For instance, group interventions designed to improve work relationships have resulted in improvements in burnout, job attitudes, management trust, and absences.45
Personal Social Support
Personal Social SupportHaving a strong social support system is an important component to self-care. Social and emotional support are powerful stress reducers in general.34,46 A substantial body of cross-sectional and longitudinal research has identified strong, consistent relationships of social support with decreases in burnout.47 For instance, family support has been shown to be related to less emotional exhaustion at work, and social support is related to a sense of efficacy.38,48,49
Creating a supportive social network is therefore well worth your efforts as a preventive strategy. Even if your time and energy are limited, small things such as inviting a colleague to lunch or for a walk, or making quick calls to friends or family members, can make a difference.