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MAS Community Chat: Museum Worker Burnout: More than ‘Self-Care’ for Survival

Posted by Amber Hanover on January 27th, 2022

MAS Community Chat: Museum Worker Burnout: More than ‘Self-Care’ for Survival

Wednesday, February 2nd 2022
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February 2, 2022 - 10:00am - Paul Thistle - Museum Worker Burnout: More than 'Self-Care' for Survival
In recent years, worker “burnout” has become increasingly prevalent in museums. Worker burnout is now such a significant problem that health benefit provider Sanofi Canada has urged us in a 2020 report, “to get at this now, or else mental health claims at staggering levels are going to be the new norm.” This presentation will briefly identify the causes of burnout in museum workers, and address some solutions to this problem.

Current COVID conditions have heightened museum worker stress & burnout levels. Lots of evidence now is proving this leads to 'great resignation' effects seen across all sectors including our own. In this light, ounces of systemic prevention are worth many pounds of additional symptom 'self-care' cure responsibilities for individual workers who have little power to fix the primary causes of burnout on their own.

Paul Thistle has 26+ years of paid experience as line worker & manager at large & small museums/archives in 5 different jurisdictions. He has taught Museum Studies at Beloit College, WI & courses for professional museum organisations.  For 30+ years Paul has been researching, writing, & advocating for improved working conditions in museums.

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