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Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Feb;62(2):214-7. doi: 10.1176/

BREATHE: a pilot study of a one-day retreat to reduce burnout among mental health professionals.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, 402 N. Blackford St., LD124, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.



Staff burnout is a frequent problem for mental health providers and may be associated with negative outcomes for providers, consumers, and organizations. This study tested an intervention to reduce staff burnout.


Community mental health providers were invited to participate in a day-long training session to learn methods to reduce burnout. A Web-based survey was given at time of registration, before the intervention, and again six weeks later.


Eighty-four providers participated in the training, and follow-up data were available for 74. Six weeks after the day-long training, staff reported significant decreases in emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and significant increases in positive views toward consumers. There were no significant changes in providers' sense of personal accomplishment, job satisfaction, or intention to leave their position. Ninety-one percent of the staff reported the training to be helpful.


This brief intervention is feasible, is acceptable to staff, and may improve burnout and staff attitudes.

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