Combatting burnout among professionals dealing with domestic violence

Grant recipient: Women’s League of Donechchyna, Mariupol, Ukraine

Project: To prevent professional burnout among health and social workers trying to prevent and counter violence.

Emotional burnout is now recognised as one of the most common factors having a negative effect on health and related professional activities. This is especially true for people who work in the social sphere and seal with people in difficult life circumstances.

In such cases, emotional burnout not only worsens the psycho-emotional state of employees, but also significantly reduces the quality of their work.

Therefore, one of the professional activities of the NGO Women’s League of Donechchyna is the prevention of emotional burnout in its employees, and other social specialists in Mariupol.

The project “Strengthening the capacity of the staff of the crisis centre and mobile brigade to prevent and counter violence” was implemented with the financial support of The BEARR Trust.

The project included a series of training sessions on “Countering occupational burnout: the path to harmony”, designed to prevent emotional burnout among specialists from the Centres for Social Services for Families of Children and Young People, who are working to prevent and counter gender-based, including domestic, violence.

Through these training sessions, specialists were able to determine their level of emotional burnout, to master techniques and self-regulation skills and to unload emotionally. These sessions were aimed at strengthening their emotional state in order to improve their productivity and the quality of the services they offer to victims.

“I am very glad that I was able to take part in this training. Working constantly in touch with other people’s grief, constantly seeing people who find themselves in very unpleasant situations … And it’s like you’re charged with heavy emotions. And I’m glad that now everything has gone back to normal, and I have a better understanding of myself, my emotions, my feelings! Now I understand that the thoughts that sometimes visited me were just signs of incipient burnout, not professional impotence.”

The second strand of this project was supervisory support for specialists in the social services centres for families, children and young people, during which, together with a specialist supervisor, participants could examine specific cases and practice the skills involved in entering a family situation, giving primary counselling to the victim, and case management in cases of domestic violence. 

“If you work with families where there is domestic violence, you are always afraid of making things worse. You mull over every case for a long time.” 

The supervisors were able to identify the causes of difficulties involved in professional activities associated with the prevention and combatting of violence, to discuss individual cases from their practice, and to identify strengths in the work of the specialists.

As a result of the project, supervisors and trainers have made recommendations and provided management for the social services centres. This should help to reduce the prevalence and manifestations of occupational burnout syndrome in employees.


Yuliia Prudnikova

Women’s League of Donechchyna

Mariupol, Ukraine

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