Tools & Trainings
Advocates and organizations have developed manuals, tools, and training materials to promote well-being. This section includes tools and training modules, including those created by Black Lives Matter advocates, women's rights activists, the United Nations, and others.
21-Day Activism Self-Care Challenge, Eddie Moore, Jr., Debby Irving, Tilda Kapuya, and June Christian
This article provides activists with a 21-day self-care plan, including a tracking tool chart and resources to access self-care activities, that they can utilize as they see appropriate.
This workshop tool informs readers of common signs of burnout and provides information on how to deal with this burnout, including a personal worksheet.
Staying Resilient While Trying to Save the World: A Fanzine for Activists and Volunteers Vol. 2, Amnesty International (2020)
“Volume 2 in the Staying Resilient While Trying to Save the World series "A Well-Being Workbook for Youth Activists" was drafted together with youth activists and informed by realities faced by Amnesty International youth activists across the globe. We hope this workbook will support youth activists in their journey to strengthen their self-care and make us all recognize the need to look after each other as we stand up for human rights.”
After declaring June 2020 the month of HRD mental well-being, DefendDefenders highlights the organisation’s work regarding well-being, and shares the knowledge, skills, and experiences of HRDs through profiles and testimonies, videos and tips, Zoom sessions and public webinars on HRD well-being.
Staying Resilient While Trying to Save the World: A Fanzine for Activists and Volunteers, Amnesty International (2020)
This comic written and created by young people from all over the Americas is a graphic resource designed to give youth ideas that could help them avoid the most common pitfalls of being an activist, while helping them think of ways to sustaining their wellbeing and hence their fight for human rights.
COVID-19 and Mental Health: Wellbeing and Resilience During the Pandemic, Columbia Human Rights Institute (2020)
Covid-19 has profoundly disrupted how we conduct human rights work. Advocates around the world are adapting to new challenges brought on by lockdowns, including needing to balance responding to new and exacerbated human rights concerns, increased personal and family responsibilities, and the challenges of remote working. Further, many traditional strategies for resilience and wellbeing such as maintaining strong social bonds and organic peer support networks, are being tested as we remain physically apart. This webinar discussion navigates mental health concerns during COVID-19, and strategies for individual, organizational, and movement-wide wellbeing; with Yvette Alberdingk-Thijm (WITNESS), Yara Sallam (Egyptian Feminist & Human Rights Advocate); Douglas Mawadri (Associates for Health Rights Uganda), Margaret Satterthwaite (NYU); moderated by Anjli Parrin (Columbia).
Drawing on the "healing justice" framework developed by radical queer feminist Cara Page and the Kindred Southern Healing Collective, this toolkit, created by the Black Lives Matter Healing Justice Working Group, is a resource for those engaged in direct action to center healing justice practices.
This is a healing advice podcast, which also answers questions by listeners, that is hosted by three healers of color: Richael Faithful, Karen L. Culpeppr and Miriam Zoila Perez (organizers of the Oxalis Collective).
Reiter and Koenig on Challenges and Strategies for Researching Trauma, Keramet Reiter and Alexa Koenig, Palgrave Macmillan (2017)
This article by two human rights practitioners discusses the mental health challenges posed by human rights research, and details useful techniques to protect human rights advocates whose work exposes them to vast quantities of traumatic material which can strengthen resilience and reduce the risk of vicarious trauma. [Also posted in Research].
FRIDA has great resources for self and collective care both for its team and for its grantees. It considers self and collective care to be an essential part of the feminist political strategy to ensure the sustainability of the feminist movement. This list contains working principles for young feminists who work in high pressure environments, to ensure that they maintain a healthy work-life balance, and to foster resilience, but is also useful for all non-profit organizations.
This list of principles for working in a "virtual office" draws on FRIDA's experiences. It is helpful for any organization looking to include feminist principles in its remote work.
4 Self-Care Resources for When the World is Terrible, Miriam Zoila Pérez, ColorLines, (Jul. 7, 2016)
This article refers to four critical resources for “when the trauma won’t stop,” which provide practical advice for helping you disengage, ensuring self-care, and ways to protect yourself in spaces with “unaware people” .
Social Entrepreneurial Pathways for a Culture of Wellbeing, Ashoka and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (May 2016)
This Social Innovation Mapping Exercise examines the ‘barriers” that social enterprises face when trying to incorporate wellness into how their organizations are run, and the “design principles” that enterprises have adopted to counter those barriers.
This manual intends to, as described by the authors, “guide a process of establishing or improving security strategies for individuals, collectives or organizations". Tactical Tech was the first organization to conceive of holistic security as “well-being in action,” and this guide includes a focus on health and well-being, in understanding security threats and adopting mechanisms to cope with them.
This online 21-day challenge by Move to End Violence can be taken by anyone looking to incorporate self-care practices into their everyday routine. Its daily prompts are intended to increase awareness around one's self-care habits, and to increase sustainability and mindfulness of those practices. This 21-day challenge starts the first Tuesday of every month.
This organizational development guide by two prominent African feminists for the African Women’s Development Fund has advice on how build sustainable social justice organizations and promote well-being by fostering the values and principles espoused by the organization internally, through the development of the organization’s core motive or “soul song”.
This document provides insights to help defenders and their organizations reflect internally, as well as analyze their practices and their models for defending rights and their activism. It contains tools, exercises and practices that creates space for and spurs reflections on personal and collective well-being and power relationships within social justice and activism work.
"Trauma and Self Care," Manual on human rights monitoring, Chapter 12, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations (2011)
This manual describes how a trauma-based approach can be adopted when conducting human rights research. It also contains a checklist for self-care during, before and after conducting interviews with trauma survivors and includes a chapter on self-care for HR officers, which defines vicarious trauma, burnout, and stress management and includes tips to manage them.
Dealing with all aspects of an activist's work and life, from health and personal networks to secure working spaces, this manual shows how various stakeholders in human rights practice can organize Integrated Security Workshops.
New Protection Manual for Human Rights Defenders, Enrique Eguren and Marie Caraj, Protection International, (2008)
This manual is a tool to help human rights defenders develop their own personal security plans and protection mechanisms. It draws on Protection International’s 25 years of experience, and includes a step-by-step plan to help human rights defenders assess threats, and protect against vulnerabilities.
Self-care and self-defense manual for feminist activists, Marina Bernal, Artemisa, Elige, CREA. (2008)
This manual is a resource to help feminist activists to know themselves better, optimize their strength, reflect upon their context and work on caring for themselves. It presents a series of exercises to build personal self-care strategies, a crucial step for self-defense against different forms of violence. It was originally developed in Spanish by Marina Bernal, Artemisa and Elige.
This tool kit provides a range of simple wellness practices which are useful in situations of stress and emergency.
The Frontline Defenders website has a whole section on health and stress management. This workbook on managing threats to security has some practical tips on how to deal with challenges to well-being including stress.
This webinar on holistic security contains presentations by various trainers explaining how to incorporate measures relating to digital, physical security and well-being within this work.
This webinar introduces individual and group-focused healing tools to center well-being in the midst of challenging times and social justice work. [Note: behind a sliding scale paywall]
This webinar is hosted by the Black Feminisms Forum and the Advisory Group on Well-being with over 80 women's rights and feminist activists, sharing their experiences on the transformative potential of self-care and collective care.
Inclusion of resources does not constitute an endorsement.