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Ensuring Mental Wellbeing for Content Moderators: The Vital Role of Clinical Supervision

By February 28, 2024No Comments


We know the work that Content Moderators do is hard. Reviewing potentially egregious content and determining whether it violates the platform policies in a high-pressure environment is a difficult role. To ensure the protection of psychological health and safety, most people we talk to in Trust & Safety recognize that they need to provide the best mental health care possible for Content Moderators. 

Recent successful legal challenges by groups of Content Moderators against their employer and the platform that they were moderating content for have shown the potential financial and reputation risk that both companies can experience.  

Our Wellbeing Specialists 

We provide a robust, clinically led support service for Content Moderators and we focus on several requirements when we hire our Wellbeing Specialists. They need to be accredited mental health professionals, they need to be educated to a Master’s level education and ideally have a minimum of three years’ clinical experience. It is rare we can find people with extensive Trust and Safety experience, so we ensure any new Wellbeing Specialists are given a robust education of what to expect in their work. This helps ensure that our end-clients (your employees) are provided with the best support available.  

Clinical Supervision 

Regular clinical supervision is critical to ensure the safety of our Wellbeing Specialists. Anyone familiar with psychologists and other mental health professionals knows that having in-built supervision is an important aspect of the profession – to protect the end client and the therapist and to ensure ongoing personal and professional development, which is critical when managing the mental health of others. 

Regular supervision is imperative in psychology and psychotherapy for several reasons: 

Clinical Oversight

Supervision provides a space for therapists to discuss their cases with a more experienced professional. This oversight ensures that therapeutic interventions are appropriate and effective, reducing the risk of harm to clients. Zevo’s clinical supervisors have experience working with Content Moderators and understand the likely issues that our Wellbeing Specialists would need to raise.  

Skill Development

Therapists, like any professionals, benefit from ongoing skill development. Supervision offers an opportunity to receive feedback on therapeutic techniques, explore new interventions, and refine existing skills. We are constantly working on new interventions and innovative ways to support moderation teams.  

Emotional Support

Dealing with clients’ emotional struggles and challenging situations can take a toll on therapists. There is a risk of secondary traumatic stress or vicarious trauma in mental health service provision. Supervision provides a supportive environment where therapists can process their own emotions, preventing burnout and compassion fatigue. Our supervisors know the type of support that will likely be needed by our Wellbeing Specialists, to ensure their wellbeing is protected.  

Ethical Guidance

Ethical dilemmas are common in therapy, and supervision helps therapists navigate these complex issues. By discussing ethical considerations with a supervisor, therapists can ensure that they uphold the highest ethical standards in their practice.  

Cultural Competence 

Clients come from diverse backgrounds, and cultural sensitivity is crucial in therapy. Supervision allows therapists to reflect on their own biases and assumptions, ensuring that they provide culturally competent care to all clients. We deal with therapy clients from all over the world, in multiple languages, therefore having a strong awareness of potential cultural biases is key to providing a supportive and helpful therapeutic environment.  

Professional Accountability

Supervision promotes accountability in therapy practice. By reviewing cases and discussing interventions with a supervisor, therapists can ensure that they are providing the best possible care to their clients and adhering to professional standards. Many of our Wellbeing Specialists deal with crisis interventions when something exceptional happens on a platform – most recently the Hamas-Israel attacks – or when an individual is experiencing significant distress including thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of each of our clients is our top priority and we have a well-rehearsed, evidence-based procedure to tackle these issues, with key responsibilities and after-hours support for all stakeholders involved. 

Clinical supervision plays a vital role in supporting our Wellbeing Specialists, which in turn protects your employees.  

Through supervision, therapists can enhance their understanding of the Content Moderation environment, address vicarious trauma and ethical dilemmas, promote cultural competence, and foster collaboration to effectively support moderators’ mental health and resilience.