From a 'Culture of Unwellness' to Sustainable Advocacy: Organizational Responses to Mental Health Risks in the Human Rights Field
REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, Vol 28, 2019
113 Pages Posted: 28 May 2019
Date Written: May 24, 2019
Human rights advocates are exposed to significant stressors and harms of myriad forms, and suffer elevated levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and burnout. Yet research into mental health and human rights is nascent. This global study, the first of its kind, and based on interviews with advocates at 70 organizations from 35 countries and dozens of experts, mapped how human rights organizations are responding to the mental health and well-being needs of advocates. The study found that, generally, organizations have responded poorly and much more needs to be done at all levels—individual, organizational, and field-wide.
The study addressed:
(1) sources of stress and the harms advocates see as resulting from poor mental health and stress exposure;
(2) the challenges to improving well-being; and
(3) positive organizational practices for supporting well-being and building more resilient advocates and organizations.
The study concludes with recommended next steps, including further research, knowledge-sharing, and tailored education and trainings.
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