“Caring for Families & Caring for Yourself: A self-care handbook for funeral service professionals” written by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD, is now available to funeral service professionals at FuneralServiceFoundation.org.

Brookfield, Wis. – The Funeral Service Foundation is proud to announce its latest complimentary resource offering, “Caring for Families & Caring for Yourself: A self-care handbook for funeral service professionals.” The handbook explores self-care techniques, specially designed to help funeral service professionals maintain a healthy work/life balance and prevent burnout.

The Foundation commissioned the 28-page handbook, written by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD, through its COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund. The resource features tips, guidance, quizzes and journaling prompts that use proven methods to help funeral service professionals:

  • Evaluate experiences, thoughts, and feelings
  • Manage stress
  • Navigate a path to self-care
  • Uncover a deeper sense of self-understanding

“Funeral service professionals are first responders – sometimes called ‘last responders’ – in a high-touch, high-stress environment,” said Wolfelt, founder and director of the Center for Loss & Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado. “Effectively managing that stress is part and parcel of the vocation and essential to a funeral service professional’s well-being. Finding ways to manage stress is key to maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones and boosts a funeral director’s capacity to compassionately serve families.”

More than 100 firms have already leveraged the resource, which was available during the NFDA Virtual International Convention & Expo and mailed along with the November issue of The Director magazine. The Foundation also shared the handbook with state associations earlier this month.

“Part of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association (IFDA) Strategic Plan is to provide addiction support and resources to members and employees that may have behavioral or addiction problems related to the profession,” said Mary Carey, executive director of the IFDA in Springfield, Illinois. “We also need to offer reliable HR resources to address employee addictions. The Foundation’s ‘Caring for Families & Caring for Yourself’ handbook is a perfect resource.”

Those interested may order free copies in quantities of 1, 5, 10 and 25 at FuneralServiceFoundation.org. Simply pay shipping. Orders include a companion “Self Care Manifesto” poster, ideal for displaying in break rooms or common spaces.

Additional free resources available at FuneralServiceFoundation.org include the Foundation’s Youth & Funerals booklet and video, which helps families and communities understand the important role funerals and memorialization play in the lives of grieving youth, and “Grieving Alone & Together: Responding to the loss of your loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic,” which offers guidance to anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one during the pandemic or would like to learn about how they can support those who have.