Film screening on caregivers experience

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The Health Federation of Philadelphia, together with The ArtWell, will be co-sponsoring the first community screening of “Portraits of Professional CAREgivers: Their Passion. Their Pain.”, a documentary produced by retired Philadelphia Department of Human Services Supervisor Vic Compher, MSW, LCSW. CAREgivers examines secondary traumatic stress or compassionate fatigue, the impact on service providers (including social workers, doctors, police and other helping professions) of exposure to client trauma.

The ArtWell and The Health Federation of Philadelphia will screen the 73-minute film on May 5 at 2 p.m. at 100 West Oxford Street in Philadelphia . The screening will be followed by a discussion. Reserve tickets here.

Compher has worked in child and family services, geriatric counseling, and hospice services in Philadelphia for more than 30 years. During his career, Compher noticed that many professional helpers experienced secondary stress, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue.

Compher hopes his film will put more attention on this often overlooked issue and offer solutions to this problem. The film also follows organizations that have implemented successful strategies to help their staff deal with such stress.

“Emphathy can be an occupational hazard,” he said. “We hope, however, to bring public attention to these issues in the film, and to work with professional organizations to broaden their knowledge and to help them organize programs to support for professional caregivers.”

The Multiplying Connections Initiative, a program of HFP, provides training, consultation and technical assistance to organizations working to create effective approaches to prevent and mitigate the impact of secondary traumatic stress.