Date of Submission
Doctor of Education
mental health clinicians, occupational stress, occupational hazards, compassion fatigue, burnout
Mental health issues among children and youth have steadily been on the rise in Canada. One of the ways that the Provincial Government of British Columbia addresses this issue is by employing mental health clinicians (MHCs) on various community mental health teams across the province. It is well established in the literature that community MHCs experience considerably high levels of occupational stress (OS) in their therapeutic roles (O’Connor et al., 2018). Chronic exposure to OS makes MHCs vulnerable to the compassion fatigue and burnout, which are considered occupational hazards (OHs) of mental health care (Bride et al., 2007; O’Connor et al., 2018). This organizational improvement plan (OIP) addresses the problem that MHCs at Strong Communities (SC), are insufficiently practicing stress-reducing behaviours, proportionate to the OS-levels that are typical in the field. This problem, and the vision for change, were explored through the lenses of critical theory and servant leadership. Organizational change readiness was assessed, and the Wellbeing Workout (WW) (Hughes et al., 2019) was chosen as the solution to the Problem of Practice. A change implementation plan was created to operationalize the WW as a team-based change initiative. This OIP is influenced by my position as an informal leader and a front-line MHC. I utilize Kouzes and Posner’s (2017) Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, and manage change using Change Path Model (Deszca et al., 2020) and Prochaska and DiClemente’s (2005) Stages of Change model. The change initiative is evaluated using three Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles (Deming, 1994/2018). Although the primary goal of this change initiative will be to reduce OS and OHs for MHCs, the long-term ambition of the plan is for SC to be re-conceptualized as a vicarious trauma-informed organization.
Keough, M. T. (2023). Improving Clinician Wellbeing in Mental Health Care. The Organizational Improvement Plan at Western University, 323. Retrieved from https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/oip/323