Compassion fatigue is the deep physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion that can result from working day to day in an intense caregiving environment (Figley & Roop, 2006). It has been described as the “cost of caring” for others in emotional pain (Figley, 1982). While compassion fatigue has been recognized since the 1950s, much of the focus has been on non-animal-related helping professionals such as those in nursing and child protection. As ever more information becomes available to those working in the fields of animal health and welfare, it becomes difficult to separate the accurate from the inaccurate. Providing a trusted source of information will greatly improve the ease of use for those searching for answers during potentially difficult times.
The National Compassion Fatigue Task Force aims to provide animal health and welfare professionals access to a web-based resource list of trusted, interactive, and useful information. Through this, the NCFTF hopes to encourage collaboration and the removal of obstacles in order to create a suitable and accessible self-directed learning environment on the topic of compassion fatigue.
Need to talk? Local resources may be available through Human Resource professionals at work. Your family doctor or clergy member can also be of help. If you or someone you know needs emergency help, please visit your local hospital emergency department, call 911 or a local distress centre or crisis service.