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Worker wellbeing

Ensuring your own wellbeing is crucial to helping reduce stress and avoid burnout. It can be particularly important when working with an increase in numbers of people who have more complex or challenging needs.

Support in the workplace

Your wellbeing can be maintained through:

  • Organisational support
  • Supervision
  • Continued professional development
  • Peer support
  • Mentoring
  • Reflective practice, and
  • Self-care strategies.

The key consideration when working with people with complex needs is to remember not to personalise challenging or difficult behaviour, and to externalise the possible functions of their behaviour. Exploring professional development opportunities to support working with specific complex needs issues will increase your confidence, skills and capacity - and support your wellbeing.

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Training and education

Training and education are not just about learning new skills and gaining knowledge. They allow you to build confidence in your current skills, increase your levels of empathy and understanding, and demystify common beliefs and misconceptions.

When working with people with complex needs, taking opportunities to learn about ABI, for example, may not only help build your skills in identifying common indicators of an ABI but also help identify the core skills you can use in everyday work that can be directly transferred and/or adapted in working with a person with an ABI.

Find out more

For more information on systems of workplace support see Making Your Service Complex Needs Capable.

A Counsellor's Guide to Working with Alcohol and Drug Users (Marsh et al 2007a) provides a range of information and tips for clinical supervision and stress and burnout.

For more information on worker wellbeing in drug and alcohol services see the National Centre for Education and Training of Addictions (NCETA) Feeling Deadly, Working Deadly' Indigenous AOD Worker Wellbeing Resource Kit and Workforce Development TIPS (particularly Chapter 13: Worker Wellbeing).

A range of training options are available for working with clients with complex needs. See a list of organisations providing training services in complex; information on training providers is also available on the NADA online training directory.

See more on training and professional development and implementing organisational change.

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