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Queen's University

School of Policy Studies

Understanding Compassion Fatigue and Burnout in Human Resources and Labour Relations Professionals

Friday, January 20, 2012 

Francoise Mathieu

Françoise Mathieu, MEd, CCC and Associates

Presentation [PDF 1.78MB]

Compassion fatigue is the result of a gradual emotional erosion that can develop over the course of a career as a helping professional. Some of us hear difficult stories daily, we are exposed to workplace conflict, highly charged emotions, organizational challenges (mass layoffs, helping clients face long term disability or sick leave, for example) and this can lead to HR and LR staff feeling drained and demoralized.

We are not always able to help everyone who comes to us for help - the demand often outweighs what we can offer. What is the impact of this work on our own emotional well-being, on our personal life? Compassion fatigue has been called “a disorder that affects those who do their work well” (Figley 1995).

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., CCC. is a certified mental health counsellor and compassion fatigue specialist. She has worked in the counselling field for over 20 years and has offered compassion fatigue education for the past decade to thousands of Canadian helping professionals of all stripes (health care workers, law enforcement, education, human resource staff, military personnel, addictions counsellors etc.). Françoise is considered to be one of the leaders of Compassion Fatigue education in Canada. She is the author of "The Compassion Fatigue Workbook". For more information visit

School of Policy Studies, Robert Sutherland Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.3020