The cost of caring: Compassion fatigue in education and healthcare (with Crissy Mombela)

People working in school or medical settings are in a position to be caring for others in their professional lives; which makes it difficult to leave work at work.

When you combine that with relationships outside of work, family responsibilities or having a child with a disability, there’s a high risk of burnout. 

I invited Crissy Mombela to episode 152 of “De Facto Leaders” to discuss this topic because she’s had lived experience as a teacher, a school administrator, and as a parent. 

Crissy Mombela is the Program Director for the REACH initiative through the Partnership for Resilience. She leads the REACH Communities of Practice (CoP). Her work allows her to be a thought partner and leader in the implementation and evaluation of the REACH Initiative, a strategic partnership with the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the support of the Illinois State Board of Education. With over twenty-five years of public education experience as a special education teacher and administrator, Crissy’s focus is on developing systems that support connection, innovation, and belonging within school communities. Crissy earned her B.S.Ed. with a concentration in special education from Northern Illinois University and her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Loyola University. 

Crissy currently holds an Illinois Professional Educator License for teaching and administration with endorsements for directing special education programs and teaching English Language Learners. In her free time, Crissy enjoys traveling with her family, baking, and scrapbooking.

This episode is the first part of our conversation about social-emotional learning for adults in education and healthcare.

In this first half of the conversation, we discuss:

✅What compassion fatigue is and why self-care alone won’t solve it. 

✅Having a child with ADHD: What it’s like to be on the other side of the table as a parent in an IEP meeting.

✅How to set expectations with your child’s school team so you’re an active participant.

✅Reframing “discipline” in schools; and why it doesn’t have to be punitive.

✅How to embed social-emotional learning across the day and why it has to be practiced “in context”: For both kids and adults

✅The impact of giving kids the opportunity to contribute to their community

The following resources were mentioned in this episode:

The REACH Initiative at the Center for Childhood Resilience (Link here:

The Partnership for Resilience (Link here:

Dr. Nadine Burke Harrris’s work with Adverse Childhood Experiences (Link here:

Dr. Mack Brackett’s book “Permission to Feel” (Link here:

The CHAMPS Model for Classroom Management (Link here:

In this episode, I mentioned The School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers guide their teams to support students’ executive functioning across the day. This program will help you plan direct therapy, but will also help you lead change management on your team, no matter your job title. You can learn more about the School of Clinical Leadership here: 

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The cost of caring: Compassion fatigue in education and healthcare (with Crissy Mombela)