Anxiety is one of the most-common mental health problems that we can face. It may be especially prevalent among human rights defenders and activists, as our work is often challenging, risky, and focused on critical issues of importance. Those of us in human rights and social justice movements may also be especially reluctant to seek support around our mental health. In this article, our wellbeing team sets out some advice on how you can support yourself and your co-workers experiencing anxiety.
Open Briefing has recently been accepted as a member of the Mental Health Innovation Network. Founded by Global Affairs Canada and jointly led by the WHO and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, aims to facilitate the development and uptake of effective mental health interventions.
We spend a third of our adult lives in the workplace, and we should not have to leave our mental health at the door each morning. Mental Health First Aid England and its partners are calling on employers to lay down their commitment to workplace wellbeing by signing the Workplace Manifesto. Today - at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week - Open Briefing has done just that.
Open Briefing provides counselling and Psychological First Aid (PFA) for individuals and retained service agreements and PFA training for organisations. As part of our commitment to promoting wellbeing and resilience, we have recently expanded our specialist counselling team. We now have two highly-experienced counsellors providing counselling to human rights defenders and humanitarians working in violent, repressive or high-stress environments or in the aftermath of critical incidents.
One of the fundamental tenets of the way we work at Open Briefing is that we practice what we preach. With that in mind, Open Briefing has now signed up to Mindful Employer Plus, which provides telephone helplines for staff and managers and will offer a listening ear, immediate guidance and signposting to further advice. 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. If we can help your organisation do the same, please contact us to discuss our wellbeing and resilience services for NGOs.
Duty of care is a concept that causes much concern and confusion among senior managers and board members. With all the emphasis on physical safety and security, though, organisations are all too often overlooking the importance of staff wellbeing and resilience. Through audits, training and direct service provision, Open Briefing can help both staff and organisations increase their resilience, and, ultimately, programme more effectively.
On Time to Talk Day, Open Briefing is launching a range of new mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS) services as part of our mission to protect and strengthen civil society. This includes training in psychological first aid and advice on establishing peer support networks and writing family liaison and staff wellbeing policies, for example.