Dr Rachel Sumner revealed her latest research from the CV19 Heroes project around the significance of meaning in relation to burnout and how the workplace, but also broader social influences, can both contribute to and provide resilience against burnout.

Kris Hall, CEO of The Burnt Chef Project and tech entrepreneur, Jay Williams then joined Rachel in a panel discussion around the impact of burnout within high-stress and high-pressure environments such as healthcare, hospitality and start-up tech.

“That lack of understanding drove to bottling up until it got to the point of crisis. We need more education, more awareness, more peer support and sharing experiences”.

They generously shared their own lived experience of burnout and ways in which they have found help personally. This moved on to a larger discussion about methods in which employers can support employees who may be at risk of or experiencing burnout.

“It’s not just stress or feeling down. Organisations don’t want to talk about it because it means admitting fault. Employees don’t want to talk about incase it has an impact on how their performance is perceived”.

Key takeaways were the importance of open, honest conversation within the workplace. This needs to start with compassionate leadership, and the right conditions or psychological safety where employees can feel comfortable asking for help without fear of judgment or stigma.

“Its important to have open and honest conversations. We cant fix burnout by talking about mental health. Burnout is burnout. Whats required is specific to what support that person needs”.