Chapter 2: Addressing work-related grief stress

Monitoring your mental health

The palliative care expert says
Dr. Tara Tucker explains how to recognize compassion fatigue. (3:22)Video transcript
Dr. Tara Tucker explains how to address compassion fatigue. (3:22)Video transcript
The paramedic says
Les discusses the emotional impact of the work, self-awareness and taking care of one another. (3:22)Video transcript

"If you can't take care of yourself, how can I trust you to take care of me?" - Patient

A first step to managing work-related grief distress is understanding the state of your own mental health. The Mental Health Continuum Model (MHCM) is an approach to preventative physical and mental health care adopted by the Canadian Armed Forces. The model provides a framework to track physical and psychological wellbeing, from relatively healthy functioning (green light) to mid-range areas that can be signals for attention (yellow and orange lights), to significant difficulties necessitating professional intervention (red light). The MHCM provides guidance across several areas including:

  • Mood
  • Performance
  • Sleep
  • Physical symptoms
  • Social behaviours
  • Addictive behaviours

Prevention is the key to getting ahead of potentially bigger problems. It’s important to pay attention to the problematic signs in the yellow and orange columns when they first appear.