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Business & Clinical

Work Related Stress -Impact on business

Over the past year, due to Covid-19, challenges to our psychological and physical health are very real and well documented. This is particularly the case for our essential frontline workers.
The exceptional stresses on individuals in the workplace can percolate into our home life which, without support and intervention can lead to heightened levels of difficulty.

Employers who want to support their staff are increasingly looking to Mindfulness Based Interventions to benefit their staff and their business.

79% in 2020

In 2020, of British adults in employment – a staggering 79% commonly experience work-related stress. This makes work-related stress the most common form of stress in the UK.
Compared to 59% in 2018 – the data reveals that work-related stress is on the rise. 

Self-compassion for caregivers

 “Most of us are quite practiced at being supportive and giving to others, especially those of us who find ourselves in caregiver roles.  Whether we have a special needs child, a parent with Alzheimer’s, an ill partner, or are in a care-giving profession such as being a nurse, therapist, or teacher, we know to give support, comfort and compassion to the people who need us.  But how many of us offer that same level of compassion and care to ourselves?

When caregivers continually give out to others without being kind, caring and supportive toward themselves, they’ll eventually burn out.  We need to have self-compassion in order to recharge our batteries and have the emotional energy needed to serve others. 

Self-compassion has been shown to protect caregivers from burnout and compassion fatigue, and to increase satisfaction with one’s care-giving role.

Self-compassion is crucial for caregivers – not only because it helps us forgive ourselves for our inevitable mistakes – but also because it allows us to acknowledge and comfort ourselves for the difficulties of our care-giving role. 

Clinical, admin and managerial staff working in the Health and Social Care fields are reporting exhaustion and anxiety. They are more challenged than ever before in their careers, this is a situation that requires a more specific and targeted support for staff and their managers to enable them to continue in a sustainable fashion. This has been backed up by feedback from both NHS and Macmillan staff that we have been working with recently. At Malvern Mindfulness (www.malvernmindfulness.co.uk) we feel that as we are both retired from lifelong careers as mental health nurses in the NHS, that we understand the pressures for staff and are well placed to facilitate the necessary intervention (Mindful Self Compassion) in a caring, supportive and compassionate manner.

At a time of high demands in the workplace, care for ourselves has a tendency to become less of a priority when it is really absolutely essential. The Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) course allows the acknowledgement of difficult emotions in a supportive way working with both internal and external pressures.

There is a growing evidence base for the benefit of mindful self-compassion skills in health and social care services where staff are close to burnout and are sacrificing their own wellbeing and emotional needs.  The results of this are not only damaging to individuals personally but also professionally in both their ability to deliver care and the losses to employers/organisations due to absenteeism and presenteeism.  Looking at both research and anecdotal evidence it is implicit that costs can be saved by caring for staff, improving their sense of well-being, sickness absence and productivity.

(See Further Research Information attached, article 1 relates to financial costs and savings.)

What we offer is to teach the 6 week Mindful Self-Compassion for Caregivers course which is an adapted course based on the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) 8-wk course that is tailored toward the use of mindfulness and self-compassion practices to the specific  setting. Short video on Mindful Self Compassion – https://youtu.be/KMca9BXKAR4

It is an evidence based  training course designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff, https://self-compassion.org   the pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion and Christopher Germer, PhD https://chrisgermer.com/, a leader in the integration of mindfulness, compassion and psychotherapy. MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.  It helps to build inner strength, a greater sense of wellbeing, personal emotional resilience and ability to thrive by teaching skills which enable caregivers to deal with distressing emotional situations as they occur.                       

Research evidence shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with:

  • An increase in positive states like happiness, optimism,  life satisfaction, self-compassion and wellbeing.
  • Fewer negative states such as anxiety, depression, stress (including secondary traumatic stress)
  • Less caregiver fatigue among health care professionals, burnout, and greater job satisfaction

Research shows that not only does compassion become more readily available for the practitioner, but they also have a greater capacity for extending compassion to others. Effectively, we can continue to care for others without losing ourselves.

Through small group discussions, guided meditations and experiential exercises, the course will support participants to:

  • Practice self-compassion in daily life
  • Understand the evidenced based benefits of self-compassion
  • Motivate themselves with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Transform challenging relationships, old and new
  • Manage caregiver fatigue
  • Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation

No experience of meditation is needed before attending, just a willingness to be open to the possibilities and opportunities the course offers. In order to get the most out of attending the course there is an expectation to undertake some home practice between sessions, much of this practice can be incorporated into daily activities.

As opposed to many other self-care techniques the skills and practices can be used on the spot while at work with patients and colleagues.  Participants of the course will develop tools to utilize throughout the workday to:

  • Care for yourself while caring for others
  • Be able to listen with compassion 
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Reconnect to the values that give life and work meaning

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.

A string of such moments can change the course of your life.

 – Chris Germer

The closed courses are delivered as a 1.5 hour session once per week, for 6 weeks and are available for up to 12 participants at a time. We choose to keep the numbers of participants low on our courses as we have discovered that this benefits the participants greatly, providing more opportunities to share and explore the concepts and experiences fully.

Some of the comments received from the last 3 courses that we have delivered for NHS and Macmillan staff;

I found the course very relaxing and I have discovered new ways of coping with all aspects of stress

I believe I will be able to support the patients in our service better as I feel confident in difficult situations and my coping skills have already improved.

I felt I have gained some very important skills in how to support myself.

The hosts were very available and always offered to talk after the session if it would help anyone deal with their situations.

This was an excellent course which was well hosted and I felt will benefit me in my role.  I have told my team members to look out for this course when it is hosted again.

I think taking as good care of myself as possible and practicing self-compassion will help me be in a better, calmer, more centred space to help patients. Also I work on increasing patients self-compassion as they undergo devastating diagnoses, treatments or losses and I definitely was in need of a reminder to practice what I preach!

I think it would be great if this was made more widely available – to all Macmillan professionals, but I also think this would be a really useful course for many NHS staff – especially after the last year! I will definitely be recommending it to the staff support team in my hospital.

We do like to speak with all of the participants, preferably via zoom, prior to the course commencing, this is a safeguarding measure to ensure we are offering the right course at the right time for all applicants.

Malvern Mindfulness are very happy to speak with professionals considering investing in a Mindful Self-Compassion course for Caregivers via zoom to answer any queries and make sure that what we are offering is best presented and available for your team.

Further Research information.

  1. https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/health.pdf

One example of the evidence supporting this fact is seen in the research LFS – Labour Force Survey – Self-reported work-related ill health and workplace injuries: Index of LFS tables    9  (see Further Research Information item 1 attached)

 (Economic Cost Economic cost of workplace injury and new cases of work-related ill health in human health and social work • The total cost in 2018/19 is estimated at £2.8 billion (95% confidence interval £2,407 M – £3,196 M) • This accounts for 17% of the total cost of all work-related ill health and injury. • This sector has the highest economic costs of workplace injury and new cases of work-related ill health. Source: HSE Costs to Britain, 2018/19 Workplace injury and ill health impose costs: both financial (for example in terms of lost output and healthcare costs) and non-financial (the monetary valuation of the human cost of injury and illness in terms of loss of quality of life, and for fatalities, loss of life). Taken together, this gives the total economic cost to society. This cost is shared between individuals, employers and government/taxpayers. Working days lost In human health and social work around 4.8 million working days (full-day equivalent) were lost each year between 2017/18 and 2019/20 due to: • workplace injury (17%) and • work-related illness (83%). Source: LFS, estimated annual average 2017/18-2019/20 • That is equivalent to around 1.5 working days lost per worker which is statistically significantly higher than the all industry level (1.0 days). These figures are predicted to be much higher due to Covid 19 in 20/21. 

  1. Andrews, H., Tierney, S., & Seers, K. (2020). Needing permission: The experience of self care and self compassion in nursing: A constructivist grounded theory study.

International Journal of Nursing Studies 101 103436

 Needing permission: The experience of self-care and self-compassion in nursing: A constructivist grounded theory study Hannah Andrews a,∗ , Stephanie Tierney b , Kate Seers

 Findings showed that nurses must feel comfortable with the idea of caring for themselves in the first instance; a default position appeared to be self-blaming and self-critical, which could be tied to a perceived nursing identity as giving to others. Self-care and self-compassion seem to be used only when nurses are already struggling, rather than in a proactive way to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue.

  1. Andrews, S. Tierney and K. Seers / International Journal of Nursing Studies 101 (2020) 103436
  2. Beaumont, E., Durkin, M., Martin, C. J. H., & Carson, J. (2016). Compassion for others, self compassion, quality of life and mental well being measures and their association with compassion fatigue and burnout in student midwives: A quantitative survey.

Midwifery 34, 239244

 Compassion for others, self-compassion, quality of life and mental well-being measures and their association with compassion fatigue and burnout in student midwives: A quantitative survey Elaine Beaumont, MSc, BSc (Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, EMDR Europe Approved Practitioner and Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy)a,n , Mark Durkin, MSc, BSc (Group therapy co-ordinator at MhIST, Psychology graduate)b , Caroline J. Hollins Martin, PhD, MPhil, BSc (Professor in Maternal Health)c , Jerome Carson, PhD (Professor of Psychology)

Conclusion: student midwives may find benefit from ‘being kinder to self’ in times of suffering, which could potentially help them to prepare for the emotional demands of practice and study. Implications: developing, creating and cultivating environments that foster compassionate care for self and others may play a significant role in helping midwives face the rigours of education and clinical practice during their degree programme. & 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

  1. Mindfulness, Compassion, and Self-Compassion Among Health Care Professionals: What’s New? A Systematic Review

Frontiers in Psychology 11

Ciro Conversano† , Rebecca Ciacchini † , Graziella Orrù† , Mariagrazia Di Giuseppe† , Angelo Gemignani † and Andrea Poli* †

Remarkably, Egan et al. (2019) reported that HCPs are aware of the burnout potential and their experiences of the necessity to access help to cope with a demanding environment. However, HCPs were not tired of being compassionate (compassion fatigue), but rather, tired of having to overcome the organizational barriers to being compassionate. Participants did not state that they were tired of caring, but they were tired of not being able to care as they would like to. In this regard, MBSR, mindfulness- and compassion-related interventions may prevent HCPs’ burnout and promote their enduring compassion and caring

Mindful Self-compassion Intervention for nurses using a mixed research approach, it has, for the first time, provided some preliminary empirical evidence of the practical significance of a SCi in providing nurses with on the job protective factors against compassion fatigue and for significantly enhancing their resilience.

  1. Raab, K. (2014). Mindfulness, Self Compassion, and Empathy Among Health Care Professionals: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy 20(3), 95108

KELLEY RAAB Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, and Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 2014

CONCLUSION Due to a multiple reasons (e.g., limited resources, the nature of the work, and a ‘‘caregiver’’ mentality), stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue will continue to be issues facing health care workers (Irving et al., 2009). Research suggests that mindfulness training for healthcare professionals can function as a viable tool for promoting self-care and well-being (Irving et al.). Increases in self-compassion as a result of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in Health Care Professionals 103 Downloaded by [Ms Kristin D. Neff] at 03:01 29 June 2014 MBSR programs are particularly relevant to counsellors and therapists (Shapiro et al., 2007), since compassion for both self and clients has been posited as an essential part of conducting effective therapy (Gilbert, 2005).

  1. Vaillancourt, E. S., & Wasylkiw, L. (2019). The Intermediary Role of Burnout in the Relationship Between Self Compassion and Job Satisfaction Among Nurses. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research  0844562119846274.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among self-compassion, burnout, job satisfaction, and sleep quality. Conclusions: The results showed the predicted associations among self-compassion, burnout, and outcomes. Importantly, self-compassion was associated with lower burnout that, in turn, was associated with higher job satisfaction and better sleep. Despite the limitations of the study, these results add to the growing literature on the benefits of self-compassion for nurses for preventing and/or ameliorating symptoms of burnout.

  1. Caring for others without losing yourself: An adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Healthcare CommunitiesKristin Neff. Marissa C. Knox,Phoebe Long,Krista Gregory,

06 July 2020  https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23007

Objective -Two studies examined the efficacy of the Self-Compassion for Healthcare Communities (SCHC) program for enhancing wellbeing and reducing burnout among healthcare professionals.

Results – Study 1 found that SCHC significantly increased self-compassion and wellbeing. All gains were maintained for three months. Study 2 found that in addition to enhancing wellbeing, SCHC significantly reduced secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Changes in self-compassion explained gains in other outcomes, and initial levels of self-compassion moderated outcomes so that those initially low in self-compassion benefitted more.

Conclusions – Findings suggest that the SCHC program may be an effective way to increase self-compassion, enhance wellbeing, and reduce burnout for healthcare professionals.


COVID-19 and experiences of moral injury in front-line key workers 

Victoria Williamson, Dominic Murphy, Neil Greenberg

Occupational Medicine, Volume 70, Issue 5, July 2020, Pages 317–319,



Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during covid-19 pandemic

BMJ 2020; 368 doihttps://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1211 (Published 26 March 2020) Cite BMJ 2020;368:m1211


What should be done to support the mental health of healthcare staff treating COVID-19 patients?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2020

Derek K. TracyMark TarnRod EldridgeJoanne CookeJames D.F. Calder and Neil Greenberg



Caring for others without losing yourself: An adaptation of the Mindful Self‐Compassion Program for Healthcare Communities

Kristin D. Neff , Marissa C. Knox , Phoebe Long , Krista Gregory

First published: 06 July 2020    https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23007


Burnout and Mindfulness Self-Compassion in Nurses of Intensive Care Units

Cross-Sectional Study

Gracia-Gracia, Pilar BSN; Oliván-Blázquez, Bárbara PhD

Author Information

Holistic Nursing Practice: July/August 2017 – Volume 31 – Issue 4 – p 225-233

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000215


Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, and Empathy Among Health Care Professionals: A Review of the Literature, July 2014 Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy 20(3):95-108

DOI: 10.1080/08854726.2014.913876

Kelley RaabRoyal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

“In order to encourage a healthy workplace, organisations need to look beyond sickness absence rates alone and develop a solid, evidence-based understanding of the underlying causes of work-related stress and unhealthy behaviour like presenteeism.”
Rachel Suff, Senior Employment Relations Adviser at the CIPD


Bespoke evidence based mindfulness interventions - M.B.I. - in the workplace, business & clinical.

We have both had a long career in the NHS working in the Mental Health field. Some of our best work is in the clinical field and we have been delivering MBSR in a Worcestershire GP practice for those experiencing stress and anxiety for 18 months. Data collected from this work using the Self Assessment Anxiety Rating Scale shows a reduction in anxiety and stress related symptoms after an 8 week course, which is maintained at 3 months. Our follow up sessions enable the deepening of mindfulness practice for those who have attended the courses.

Mindfulness helps to develop resilience in developing skills to buffer against disruptive factors, particularly in professional relationships. Developing resilience captures the capacity to rebound from adversity, conflict, and failure and to develop as a result of these challenges (Luthans, Avolio, Avey, & Norman, 2007) 

Mindfulness helps to develop resilience in developing skills to buffer against disruptive factors, particularly in professional relationships. Developing resilience captures the capacity to rebound from adversity, conflict, and failure and to develop as a result of these challenges (Luthans, Avolio, Avey, & Norman, 2007). Resilient employees not only recover but also may grow in the face of adversity. Hope, resilience, optimism, and efficacy individually and as a composite higher‐order factor predicted work performance and satisfaction.

· Greater resilience

· Lower levels of stress and illness related absenteeism

· Lower levels of staff turnover

· Effective communication

· Stronger teams and leaders

· Reduced workplace conflict

· Superior creativity and innovation

· Improved productivity

· Improved employee engagement

· Confidence around change

· Positive wellbeing

(Chaskalson, 2011)

The Present developed by Sarah Silverton www.sarahsilvertonmindfulness.co.uk and colleagues.

This 8 week course is a newly developed mindfulness intervention, based on more recent research, which indicates that shorter more everyday mindfulness practices can be effective. This course proposes that all that is required is for us to notice our experience whilst we go about our lives and helps to develop wise choices about how we can use this knowledge to bring about any necessary change.

It has an approach which is flexible enough to be used in many different environments and is particularly helpful in business and clinical settings, where pressure and stress is high, but time for practice is limited.

Collaboration between the teachers and participants allows a really meaningful experience, whilst at the same time sharing the science which underpins how mindfulness can bring positive change.

As with all our teaching we maintain high standards of care, confidentiality and safety. It is delivered with consideration and a professional approach. 

Courses for work related stress:

Contact us to discuss the needs of your workplace

Where: We are happy to attend your place of work, or another chosen venue.
Costs: Costs on application following discussion.

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