Vicarious Trauma & Self-Care Toolkit


Vicarious Trauma & Self-Care Toolkit

2 years ago 2 years ago Published by
This toolkit was developed by the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy.


We are living through some of the most intense and difficult times many of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. There are many factors that are contributing to the physical, mental, and emotional toll on community workers, including:

  • the emotional weight of working during a pandemic;
  • racial tensions and protests;
  • providing support following traumatic community loss events related to gun violence;
  • and the overdose and mental health crisis.

Community workers are also being challenged to navigate restrictions and disruptions to the way their work is delivered given the current realities.

This toolkit was updated by Chris Leonard, in partnership with the City of Toronto through the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy (TYES), to provide tools and resources to help minimize the stressors and challenges related to working in these current realities and context.

This toolkit aims to provide information and practical tools to assist workers dealing with stressors and challenges resulting from bearing witness to current and ongoing traumatic experiences related to their work.

Most people come to this work because they want to make a difference in this world, but working with communities impacted by multiple on-going traumatic loss events takes a toll. This resource is intended as a guide for those seeking information on vicarious trauma, and practical self-care tools to lessen the trauma impact of the work.

The Toronto Youth Equity Strategy aims to build resiliency and access to supportive systems for youth most vulnerable to involvement in serious violence and crime (MVP youth). TYES includes 28 recommendations and 110 actions the City of Toronto will take to provide better services and out- comes for vulnerable youth. TYES was adopted unanimously by City Council in February 2014.

Toronto Youth Equity Strategy. (2020). Vicarious Trauma & Self-Care Toolkit.

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