As health care specialists, we spend a huge amount of time considering, empathising with, and addressing the needs of the people we want to help. We intimately understand the challenges children and young people face, and how these may impact their health and development long term.
Exposed daily to this kind of emotional and physical distress, it can be easy for compassion fatigue to creep in. Our brains work automatically to protect our own mental health, almost desensitising us to the trauma experienced by others.
It’s much easier to think of people as statistics, especially when it comes to children and young people. But the more we think in terms of statistics, the more immune to them we become, the more empathy we lose and the less potential there is for an effective, caring health care system that works well for everyone.
We need to put the care back into health care.