Compassion fatigue affects many; Purdue has resources available to assist

Compassion fatigue can be common among professional caregivers, such as hospice staff, veterinarians and other medical providers. However, compassion fatigue can also affect the general public, including caregivers in the home.

According to, a study in the journal Aging & Mental Health shows that 71% of family caregivers experience high levels of caregiver burden or stress, and as many as 59.5% experience signs of burnout or compassion fatigue. Another study in the Journal of Adult Development reveals that family caregivers may be even more susceptible to compassion fatigue than formal caregivers because of the lack of systemic support they receive.

Resources to help

Purdue has resources to help employees navigate mental health struggles, including compassion fatigue.

SupportLinc, provider of behavioral health services for the West Lafayette campus, has many online resources to help those who suffer from compassion fatigue, know someone who is experiencing compassion fatigue or who simply want to learn more about the condition. The following articles are also available via the SupportLinc web portal:

Additionally, SupportLinc offers confidential, one-on-one counseling via several platforms – phone, text and video – as well as other avenues to get behavioral health support.

  • Phone – Reach a licensed counselor by phone 24/7/365 at 888-881-5462.
  • Video counseling – eConnect allows individuals to schedule a 30-minute video, telephone or web chat session with a licensed and experienced clinician.
  • Text – Exchange text messages, voice notes and resources Monday through Friday with a licensed counselor through the mobile and desktop app via Textcoach.
  • Animo – Personalized digital resource that strengthens mental health and overall well-being through a dynamic series of self-directed modules.
  • Email – Contact for assistance via email.
  • Ask the Expert – Fill out a short form, and a SupportLinc team member will reply within one business day.
  • Mobile app – SupportLinc eConnect mobile app allows individuals to talk or chat directly with a SupportLinc counselor or schedule a time for SupportLinc to call them.
  • Navigator – A short survey takes the guesswork out of emotional fitness as individuals receive personalized guidance for accessing program support and resources based on their survey.
  • Digital Group Support – Anonymous group sessions offered on a variety of topics. Individuals are identified only by their avatar and avatar name. Once an avatar is created, individuals can select from a variety of session topics, which occasionally rotate.
  • Currently “Caregiver Support” is among the available topics. The next available session is scheduled for 2 pm June 22. The confidential, 30-minute group session will explore how caring for a loved one can strain even the most resilient people, the fact that caregivers who are struggling with stress are not alone and the steps every caregiver can take to preserve their own emotional health and well-being.

To get started using SupportLinc, call 888-881-5462, or log in to the SupportLinc website or the eConnect mobile app (available in the App Store and on Google Play) with username purdue.

Care@work by is a free benefit that provides caregivers assistance with a variety of needs, including child care, elder care and pet care. Via a customized portal, benefits-eligible faculty and staff can search and find affordable caregivers along with other services such as tutoring, housekeeping services and more. To register for access to these benefits, go to

“In line with the mission of the Healthy Boiler Program, SupportLinc and Care@work are free benefits available to assist our Purdue employees in many ways, including offering support when caring for others has become more stressful and mentally and physically exhausting than normal,” says Candace Shaffer, senior director of benefits in Human Resources. “The need to include self-care while taking care of others can sometimes be overlooked, and we hope that the resources offered by SupportLinc and Care@work can help the Purdue community make time for themselves, as well.”

SupportLinc and Care@work both support the behavioral health and financial wellness pillars of the Healthy Boiler Program.


To assist faculty and staff

Review the “Mental Health Resources” webpage for a variety of available resources for faculty and staff, including resources for all Purdue campuses, information on Purdue’s health plan coverage for mental health and substance abuse, and behavioral health referral locations for the West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest campuses.

To assist students

Faculty and staff who work with students or have a student at home can direct them to the resources below for behavioral health assistance. Note: LiveHealth Online Psychology and LiveHealth Online Psychiatry services are also available to Purdue students who are covered on a Purdue health plan. Mental health visits through LiveHealth Online are covered at 100% on the Purdue student health plan.

Office of the Dean of Students

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

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