One of the fundamental tenets of the way we work at Open Briefing is that we practice what we preach.
With the launch of our wellbeing and resilience programme on Time to Talk Day earlier this year, Open Briefing placed mental health and wellbeing on a par with physical and digital security in ensuring the safety of the human rights defenders and humanitarians that we work with around the world (read more about how this relates to duty of care here). We had already signed the Charter for Employers who are Positive about Mental Health and joined the UK government’s Disability Confident scheme in 2016 (being certified a Disability Confident Employer the following year); but we wanted to go further in supporting our team’s wellbeing and resilience, particularly in light of our work doing so in other organisations.
With that in mind, Open Briefing has now signed up to Mindful Employer Plus (MEplus), an initiative of the Devon Partnership NHS Trust. MEplus provides telephone helplines for staff and managers and will offer a listening ear, immediate guidance and signposting to further advice. Advisers answering the Staff Helpline are qualified counsellors or psychotherapists and those taking calls to the Managerial Adviceline have expert training in human behaviour and relationships as well as management experience.
This is just one of the ways that we try to support team members who may experience stress or trauma through their work or personal lives as well as part of our efforts to promote ‘psychological safety’ within the Open Briefing team. For example, we have also ensured that several members of our team are trained in Psychological First Aid or are qualified Mental Health First Aiders and so able to provide peer support to their colleagues.