Jane Barton: Compassion Fatigue Revisited

Due to the COVID crisis and the political/social unrest of the past year, we have witnessed the suffering of others – physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering. To witness the pain and suffering of another person is to be forever changed. Compassionate people bear the suffering of others and often times compromise their own health and well-being when they assume too much of the burden. Today, countless people are experiencing compassion fatigue and therefore need guidance and information as to how to manage this type of stress. We must always be aware of where we end and the other person begins – the importance of boundaries. We can companion others in life, but we cannot assume the responsibility for another’s life. To do so puts us at risk of experiencing compassion fatigue, a risk for all who care.

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Institute of Museum and Library Services
Colorado Department of Education, Colorado State Library