staff care

‘The problem is the silence’: challenges providing support to local INGO staff in Gaza

​This field report reviews some of the challenges encountered in providing support to local international, nongovernmental organisations staff in Gaza, shortly following the cessation of conflict in July and August of 2014. Methodology and the content of group sessions are described. The paper concludes with highlights from the evaluation, reflections on what was learned, and some recommendations on the provision of further staff support in the future.

Field report: peer support supervision as a procedure for learning from practical experience in a mental health setting

This field report describes a ‘minimal budget project’ aimed at developing the expertise of a mixed group of workers. This project included nurses, community workers, counsellors and psychosocial workers attached to, or connected with, the mental health units in four hospitals in east Sri Lanka. In order to develop expertise, the project included a series of basic counselling training, as well as ongoing guidance during monthly peer supervision meetings.

Care for the caretakers: rolling out a protocol or developing tailor-made programmes on the spot?

Some western nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) have developed protocols aimed at providing care for the caretakers. The authors, three psychosocial workers in an Asian country, show an approach that is more sensitive to the local context than any protocol could ever be. This is done by giving a detailed description of a two-day ‘stress management workshop’ that was offered to two groups of local staff members from an international NGO (INGO).

Stress and staff support strategies for international aid work

This article will explore a variety of stressors affecting humanitarian aid workers operating in an increasingly challenging environment and review structures for aid worker support. It will summarise the findings of a workplace stress survey conducted in 2009 by a large international aid organisation and provide a comparative analysis with the 2003 stress survey carried out within the same organisation.

Staff support in Haiti

The earthquake in January 2010 that destroyed Port au Prince, Haiti, has been described as the most devastating humanitarian disaster on record. The author, a mental health professional and a dance movement therapist with more than 12 years working experience in Haiti, encountered numerous anecdotal reports of physical illness and psychological distress amongst rescue and recovery workers, humanitarian aid workers, and others.

Developing a responsive model of staff care beyond individual stress management: a case study

This field report offers some examples of donor related, and management induced, stress among local humanitarian staff in northern Sri Lanka. These examples were identified during staff care interventions held with a dozen nongovernmental organisations in the region. In this report, the authors discuss approaches to staff care. They conclude that individual, stress management focussed training does not adequately answer the needs of staff members (partially) burdened by unnecessary, work related stress.

Building resilience and preventing burnout among aid workers in Palestine: a personal account of mindfulness based staff care

The field report is a personal account of introducing the practice of mindfulness to humanitarian professionals working in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to help them reduce stress and address issues of burnout. Mindfulness refers to the systematic cultivation of awareness that emerges through paying attention to the present moment, with compassion and open hearted curiosity.