When working with others in need, self-care is essential. To prevent burnout, you need to be able to prioritise yourself and your own needs before effectively assisting others. Helen Gray is an experienced social worker who has experienced the impact of burnout firsthand.
Born in the UK, Helen completed her social work training in Belfast, Northern Ireland, before later moving to Sydney. Helen commenced her career as an unqualified worker doing community relations work with at risk youth and as a support worker, supporting a mix of young people at risk of homelessness and students.
Helen moved to Australia in 2003, commencing work in Sydney with homeless and at-risk youth.
After several years, necessity brought Helen back into full time work in the child and family support arena, resulting in collaborative work with the Australian Family and Community Services. Whilst loving elements of the management role, Helen experienced professional breakdown and burnout in 2015, and in June 2016 was signed off as unable to work in her social work role due to mental health concerns. This was the start of an ongoing journey of recovery and learning.
Committed to empowering other social workers to be able to support their wellbeing and professional future, Helen is leading the way with specialised social worker self-care training in moral distress, vicarious trauma, and burnout prevention.
Listen in to this week’s episode as Helen talks about her personal experience with burnout, gain insight into the importance of self-care as a professional practice tool and learn simple strategies for integrating self-care into your working day.