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How Companies Can Safeguard Their Employees from Social Media Violence Fatigue

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

by Tahitia Timmons MSN, RN,CDP®,CDE® CPDC


Recently I was chatting with a client who stated that they no longer watched traditional news but that their social media feed had become a source of stress. Every day it was filled with what the algorithm intimated they wanted, but brought them tremendous unhappiness.


"I want to know what is going on in the world, and I don't want to follow traditional news sites. But..... lately, I can't stop feeling paralyzed."


My client was suffering from compassion fatigue. Often we hear about compassion fatigue in the context of healthcare professionals. However, compassion fatigue can also be used to refer to empathetic people who may feel an unspoken pressure to help with societal problems yet feel helpless to solve them. Often these are people who find "joy" in volunteering, but feel as if they can never give 'enough' in the face of the world's suffering.


My client who often describes herself as empathetic and a person who considers herself caring, had a social media feed that had become a source of both connection and despair. Since that conversation, we have consistently checked in on the impact social media has but this client is not alone, the media we are exposed to can have a tremendous impact on our well-being.


With that in mind, we have compiled a short list of ways to support employees dealing with stress from social media in the context of violence fatigue and warfare images.


To support employees, grappling with mental distress and burnout from social media violence fatigue and warfare images, companies can take several steps. These steps can help mitigate the mental health crisis and deal with compassion fatigue, a common cause of stress in healthcare workers.

  1. Acknowledge the issue: Recognize the impact that exposure to violent news events and warfare images can have on mental health[1]. Show empathy and understanding towards employees who may be affected.

  2. Encourage breaks from social media: Social media has been linked to negative mental health outcomes, including anxiety and depression[2]. Encourage employees to take breaks from social media to reduce exposure to violent content and promote overall well-being.

  3. Provide resources for support: Offer access to mental health resources, such as counseling services or employee assistance programs. Remind employees of the available resources and encourage them to seek help if needed[3].

  4. Foster a supportive work environment: Create an atmosphere where employees feel seen, heard, and supported. Regularly check in on their well-being and provide ongoing support[3].

  5. Promote self-care: Encourage employees to prioritize self-care activities, such as engaging in hobbies, exercising, and practicing mindfulness. These activities can help manage stress and promote mental well-being[3].

  6. Offer flexibility: Provide flexible work arrangements, such as flexible hours or remote work options, to help employees better manage their stress and maintain work-life balance.[1]

  7. Educate on coping strategies: Provide information and training on coping strategies for dealing with stress and traumatic events. This can include techniques like deep breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, and stress management techniques.

By implementing these measures, companies can create a supportive environment and help their employees effectively manage stress related to social media violence fatigue and warfare images. This can significantly reduce signs of burnout in healthcare workers and foster better mental health in the workplace in 2022. It's a proactive approach to addressing the mental health burnout and depression in healthcare workers.


Sources

1. Greenwood, K. Supporting Your Team’s Mental Health After a Violent News Event (Harvard Business Review) https://hbr.org/2022/06/supporting-your-teams-mental-health-after-a-violent-news-event

2. Muldoon, C. Help Employees Mitigate the Impact of Social Media on Mental Health (Web MD) https://www.webmdhealthservices.com/blog/help-employees-mitigate-the-impact-of-social-media-on-mental-health/

3. Yildirium, E. ‘We have to take care of ourselves’: How to function at work during times of ‘turmoil and upheaval,’ from a trauma expert (CNBC) https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/22/how-to-function-at-work-during-times-of-grief-and-turmoil.html





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