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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 186 February 2023

mivision Issue 186 February 2023

Returning to work in the new year is never easy. The sun’s shining, the sea warm, and holiday makers are still living it up.

We hope to make your transition easier this year with our first issue of mivision for 2023.

Before you kick into consults, I encourage you to dive into our lead story, written by clinical psychologist Dr Jo Mitchell, who provides valuable advice on recognising the signs of burnout in yourself and others, then knowing what to do about them.

So, what exactly is burnout? According, to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

“It is characterised by three dimensions:

1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion,

2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and

3) a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.”1

It’s been reported that burnout increased significantly during the pandemic.2 Now, although the pandemic is over, waves of COVID variations continue to contribute to the incidence of this syndrome.

Importantly, burnout is not an ‘I’ issue. It can affect the entire organisation: its ability to delivery healthcare services, staffing turnover and presenteeism, and revenue.

As a ‘we’ issue, Dr Mitchell says employers have a responsibility to “recognise the workplace stressors that contribute to burnout or poor mental health and have a clearly communicated strategy to address them”.

On an individual basis, she says, “As hard as it may seem to stop, rest and rejuvenate, it is the only way forward when it comes to shifting from burnout back to flourishing.”

So, let’s start 2023 with greater awareness of the need to protect the mental health of ourselves and our teams. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.