RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — In recognition of Mental Health Wellness Day, part of Self Care Awareness Month there’s a lot of focus on our therapists and child counselors and the long term effects of anxiety, depression and burnout within their profession. And in South Florida there’s a newly launched a online training course to provide healing to healers.
Therapist Darla Mullenix, LMHC, says she knew child counseling was a job that came with stress — but nothing like it is a decade into the profession amid a pandemic.
“We’ve seen an increase in case loads and referrals and just the overall need to assist these children who have been through so much,” Mullenix said. “Burnout is very real.”
Even her boss, Center for Child Counseling, Inc. CEO and president Renee Layman had her own breaking point.
“You just hit a wall. I did it a couple of months myself and had to detach for two weeks,” Layman said. ”Worried about sustainability, worried about my staff, worried about the children that we serve.”
Part of the approximately 49% of professionals a survey from the American Medical Association reported were overworked, overstressed and dealing with compassion fatigue. The recipe for burnout.
“What do you need to put on your plate — what do you need to take off your plate,” Layman said.
And once back on the job, Layman didn’t just focus on herself — she got to work on the meat, potatoes and sides on her employees plates. And her agency developed the new Healing the Healers training. A four-hour, online training with 24/7 on-demand access for one month in the service’s Learning Management System. With support from the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, BeWellPBC, and Healthier Jupiter.
”Because there’s no way for you to take care of others if you can’t take of yourself,” Mullinex said.
The training is specifically tailored for all front line workers, exploring what’s on your plate, the biology of stress, self-care and building resilience.
”Not only is it available for our staff by essentially anybody anywhere in the world,” Layman said.
She also says the timing of the release is due to the impacts of an “echo pandemic” front line workers and even some parents are dealing with.
“There’s really a mental health crisis right now for kids and adolescents,” Layman said. “We’re seeing huge spikes in depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts within children and adolescents. So a big part of what we’re trying to do is educate the adult caregivers. How should they respond to this crisis.”
The Healing the Healers training is being offered for free to members of the Nonprofit Chamber of Palm Beach County and at a reduced cost for everyone else until Dec. 31 thanks to grants. To learn more visit, here: https://www.centerforchildcounseling.org/training/healinghealers/