Within the constant ebbs and flows of life, we are seeing caregivers and providers experiencing states of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged or repeated stress. This is defined as burnout. Burnout is not simply work overload; it is a result of long hours, taking on too many tasks, and feeling a loss of control.

Know these experiences are valid, and if you are experiencing burnout as a caregiver or as a provider, it’s important to care for yourself. Here at VitalCare, we value the selfcare of our providers so we can provide the best care to our clients, and many client relationships include those of caregivers as well: such as parents, primary guardians, or family members and friends.

Burnout can lead to feelings of Depression, cynicism, lethargy, and exhaustion. A large study documented on healthline.com article states, “caregivers who felt that they were under a lot of strain had poorer health outcomes compared to caregivers who felt little or no strain.” A study published regarding burnout for providers states, “National studies suggest that over 50% of providers experience symptoms related to burnout, which is significantly higher than the general population.”

Signs of burnout can vary per individual, but some common experiences may include:

  • Body aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling anxious or overwhelmed
  • Loss of concentration
  • Feeling impatient or irritated
  • Lacking motivation or a loss of interests that were previously preferred
  • Constant worry, hopelessness, or isolation

For providers, burnout can look like:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Depersonalization
  • Feeling a lack of competence/self-efficacy
  • Increased mistakes/errors at work
  • Safety issues for client/providers
  • Lack of engagement
  • Poor retention rate
  • Poor customer/client satisfaction

Although these signs are seen, this is not a complete reflection of what everyone can experience. What’s important regardless of if you are a provider or caregiver is to take care of yourself. Give yourself compassion, patience, and prioritize selfcare.

Some suggestions for selfcare include:

  • Asking others for help/support
  • Practicing healthy boundaries by accepting your capacity
  • Talk to other caregivers/providers
  • Take regular breaks
  • Attend social activities
  • Prioritize needs – eating healthy, exercise, taking in sunshine
  • Maintaining sleep schedule
  • Mindfulness – building awareness of current state
  • Evaluate alternative options

Selfcare is not limited to these options. It can look like engaging in a preferred activity, taking a bubble bath after a long day, or even listening to a favorite song and singing along. Even making a favorite meal can be an act of compassion for yourself. The ultimate focus should be easing discomfort, exhaustion, and those symptoms that accompany burnout.

If you are experiencing burnout and would like to explore professional support, VitalCare offers therapy services as well as recommendations for managing symptoms you may be experiencing.

Sources for this article originated form the following websites:


Meet Rachel O’Connor, LPCC

I have firsthand experience with how nerve-wracking it can be to begin therapy, whether it is for the first time or with a new therapist. I prioritize creating a safe and welcoming environment for clients. I believe that the depth of healing that is possible through therapy makes it a risk worth taking, but the approach and temperament of the therapist is undeniably important. That is why I strive to provide each client with the individualized support they need to make the changes they want to make in their life. With the proper support and resources, I believe that every person can seek the healing they desire.
I provide individual therapy for adolescents and adults who are experiencing the following: anxiety, depression, life stressors and transitions, grief and loss, trauma, and identity concerns. My approach to therapy is a combination of Person-Centered therapy and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT).

“once-in-a-generation” opportunity to revamp the Mental Health System in Colorado

I have been following the articles written by Jennifer Brown from the Colorado Sun with a great deal of interest. She is a great writer and has covered many aspects of the Mental Health System in Colorado over the last few months.  Find links to the articles below.

Jennifer Brown points out, Colorado has a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to revamp the Mental Health System with funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act.

As a provider of Mental Health Services, VitalCare interacts with the seven Regional Accountable Entities (RAE) contracted with Health First Colorado, Colorado’s Medicaid program. The RAEs authorize and manage the mental health benefits of the Health First Colorado members who live in their geographic region. 

One would expect these RAEs to operate similarly and provide the same benefits to their members.  Unfortunately, they all operate differently and have different rules, reimbursement rates, rejection rates/reasons, and pre-authorization requirements. They also have different billing systems.  This complex network creates an “administrative burden” for the providers.

Often, providers decline to work with a particular RAE due to frequent billing denials, lower reimbursement rates, or extended wait times to become credentialed as an authorized provider.  The Health First Colorado members in some regions may have very few providers to choose from, due to these factors. 

As a provider, I would like to see some of the funds allocated to creating a statewide system, with one rule set, one billing system and standardized reimbursement rates like the medical side of Health First Colorado.  The inefficiencies of the current RAE system limit the options available to Health First Colorado members and create regional inequities in the availability and quality of services.

What are your thoughts?  How would you like to see these funds utilized?