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Resources

How can collective and organisational spaces ensure the wellbeing of the people who are part of their causes and movements? How can these spaces become enablers for those doing people work to continue with it?

Here, we have resources – both TARSHI’s and external – on ways to think about, imagine, and create collective care. The resources offer strategies, guidance, tips and good practices to encourage organisations and collectives to think about ways to avoid staff and members’ burnout and work towards their wellbeing.

If your organisation has any such resources, do share with us at selfcare@tarshi.net and we’ll add them here.

TARSHI’s resources

In its 25 years of work, TARSHI has developed various kinds of resources and activities that cover sexuality, wellbeing, stress management and burnout prevention. Read about these in detail in the Our work section.

The worksheets in the self-care section can also be used collectively,  with all members of an organisation/collective doing them individually. Organisations/collectives can then request members to share their thoughts on the worksheets (although not the contents of what they wrote, as that is private and confidential). These could be used as a collective care exercise, or as ideas for policies on collective care.

How can collective and organisational spaces ensure the wellbeing of the people who are part of their causes and movements? How can these spaces become enablers for those doing people work to continue with it?

Here, we have resources – both TARSHI’s and external – on ways to think about, imagine, and create collective care. The resources offer strategies, guidance, tips and good practices to encourage organisations and collectives to think about ways to avoid staff and members’ burnout and work towards their wellbeing.

If your organisation has any such resources, do share with us at selfcare@tarshi.net and we’ll add them here.

Collaborative resources of TARSHI and Nazariya

In 2018 and 2019 TARSHI and Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group collaborated (with AJWS support) to conduct stress and self-care needs assessment workshops in Delhi, Guwahati, and in Hyderabad and documented unique stressors faced by people working in areas related to sexuality, across different socio-political and regional contexts. This assessment was followed by a consultation in December 2019 which was video documented, to share the learnings from the needs assessment and discuss next steps.  During the pandemic they reached out to the workshop and consultation attendees to document their experiences.  The outcome being these three films on self and collective care.  

The film focuses on the geography of stress that is familiar to many human rights activists and caseworkers, but rarely, if ever, articulated and expressed. It introduces the viewer to the concept of stress and burnout, self-care and mental health issues, faced by those working in the human rights field.

This film focuses on stress, burnout and self-care needs assessment, based on our work. This presents the perspectives and responses of participants and resource persons, some with experience spanning decades, working on taboo subjects such as sexuality and rights, disability justice and mental health, with communities who face minority stress, who are part of co-creating this ongoing process with us.

This film focuses on stress, self-care, language and vocabulary. The lack of articulation, that helps people express their stress, be heard, understood, and be accepted, is a key issue. This is more than a language component and involves the
emotional and psycho-social ‘space to speak’, which is often missing.

External resources

Activist Trauma Support (ATS) was formed in 2004 in the UK, due to a recognition of the potential for people involved in political activism to have distressing or traumatic experiences. Over the following decade, ATS ran Wellbeing Spaces at a number of large convergences like G8 and Climate Camps, facilitated workshops at many gatherings, supported individuals by telephone as well as face-to-face, produced the literature available on this site and collaborated with groups doing similar work in other countries. The initial focus on post-traumatic stress was widened to include burnout when it was observed to be a problem in activist groups and grassroots campaigns.

On this site you will find readings on the intersection of trauma and politics, personal accounts, and information sheets in English and a few other languages, which can be downloaded, printed and distributed in any number.

In order to assist those thinking of ways to provide information, preventative action and support to people exposed to trauma and burnout through political activism, they have included their ATS internal guidelines and entry questionnaire in their archive.

Among the many useful resources on this website, here is one on Sustainable activism and avoiding burnout.

The Antares Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands.  They work across all ranges and aspects of staff care and psychosocial support for humanitarian, developmental and human rights organisations worldwide.

With their experience of working with both national and international humanitarian agencies worldwide, the Antares Foundation has seen the importance of addressing stress on all levels of an organisations. Following requests they got for information, ideas and strategies for developing a stress program for humanitarian workers, they developed the document Managing stress in humanitarian workers: guidelines for good practice intended to help organisations define their own needs in relation to stress management and develop their own staff care system.

FRIDA provides young feminist organisers with the resources they need to amplify their voices and bring attention to the social justice issues they care about. They enable the support, flexibility and networks to sustain young feminist visions.

FRIDA considers self-care as a feminist political strategy to ensure the feminist movement sustainability and their personal resilience.

The article Practising individual and collective self-care at FRIDA has some good tangible examples of individual and collective self care has been penned by all team members of FRIDA.

Heads up is all about giving individuals and businesses the tools to create more mentally healthy workplaces.

Developed by Beyond Blue and supported by the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, Heads Up calls on business leaders to make a commitment and start taking action in their workplaces. It also encourages everyone in the workplace to play their part in creating a mentally healthy working environment, take care of their own mental health, and look out for their colleagues.

The website provides a wide range of resources, information and advice for individuals and organisations – all of which are designed to offer simple, practical and, importantly, achievable guidance.

You can also create an action plan that’s tailored for your business. This interactive tool will help you define and prioritise your goals, identify risk areas and take a step-by-step approach to creating a mentally healthy workplace.

MobLab trains, coaches and challenges changemakers and their organisations to build people power, deploy creative tactics, tackle root causes and adopt collaborative cultures. Why? Because these strategies are key to addressing the scale and complexity of the challenges we face today.

MobLab Live looks at why self-care is a key to movement success and how organisations can create a culture of wellbeing.  Why self-care and collective wellbeing are critical to winning change brings home some lessons and takeaways from the discussion.

Founded in 2013, Know Your IX is a survivor- and youth-led project of Advocates for Youth that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools. They envision a world in which all students can pursue their civil right to education free from violence and harassment. They recognise that gender violence is both a cause of inequity and a consequence of it, and they believe that women, transgender, and gender non-conforming students will not have equality in education or opportunity until the violence ends.

For survivor-activists, their activism can be doubly overwhelming because they are in the process of healing and processing their own experiences of trauma, in addition to learning how to organise anti-rape culture campaigns on their respective campuses.

Activist burnout and self-care offers a few principles that they have found helpful in prioritising their self-care as activists who are in this fight for the long run.

How can we amplify self and collective care? from Raising Voices 

Series on Preventing Violence against Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This Guidance Note focuses on how organisations can prepare to best support staff, our communities, and women at increased risk of violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Striker Self- And Collective Care

Activism and fighting for things you care about can be damaging – you put too much time and effort into projects, burn out, exhaust yourself and in the end the whole campaign suffers. Look here for some pro tips on how to avoid individual and group burn-out.

These are only suggestions and TARSHI is not responsible for the content on these sites. We will be happy to receive feedback on any of the resources listed here. Additionally, if you are aware of any other interesting, reliable resources, do send us details at selfcare@tarshi.net. Thank you!

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