The constant threat of physical, digital, or psychological harm means that poor wellbeing and resilience is a very real danger among activists and advocates. One of the best ways we can help is by expanding the use of peer supporters within our organisations and movements.
In the face of closing civic space and increasing attacks against human rights defenders, we need to start viewing acts of personal resilience as acts of resistance! Here are seven evidence-based actions that you can take to improve your wellbeing and resilience, starting today.
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.
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-based approach for assisting people of any age or background in the immediate aftermath of a critical incident or crisis. In this resource, Open Briefing's wellbeing and resilience team offers vital guidance on how to provide PFA to activists and advocates you may be supporting. It also describes common responses to traumatic events and explains self-care measures affected people can follow. It is available online and to download in 10 languages.
We must address the laudable but unsustainable culture of self sacrifice within environmental and social movements. We can start to view acts of personal resilience as acts of resistance! To encourage this shift, Open Briefing launched on World Mental Health Day a series of free wellbeing webinars for those agitating and advocating for rights and justice.
As the nature and tempo of the crisis in Afghanistan shifts now that evacuation flights from Kabul have ended, it is crucial that those who have been providing remote support to Afghan partners take some time for self care. To help colleagues cope, we are running free workshops and have published an infosheet on compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout.
Due to the increased demand for our support from rights-based civil society organisations, collectives, and defenders, Open Briefing needs to expand its consultant team of psychologists and counsellors. You will be providing remote counselling and psychosocial support and training to humanitarians and human rights defenders and other civic actors at-risk. You must have excellent written and spoken English and French. Please contact us for more information.
Due to increased demand, we need to recruit an experienced French-speaking consultant counsellor or psychologist. You will be providing remote counselling and wellbeing trainings to human rights defenders and humanitarian aid workers living and working in some of the most challenging environments worldwide. You need to be a qualified, experienced, accredited and insured mental health professional with experience in the human rights or humanitarian sectors.