Caring for volunteers

19 August 2018 expert panel (with Cecile Dinesen from the PS Centre) discussing mental health issues among volunteers (Youtube).

The 14 million Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers often work in difficult, complex and sometimes dangerous environments. They are exposed to traumatic events as part of their job, they are often members of affected communities themselves and may therefore experience the same loss and grief as the people they are supporting, and they work long hours under extremely challenging and stressful conditions.

It is our duty to protect and support our volunteers. Advocating this point is an important activity for the PS Centre and in 2018 this included the article Mental health and psychosocial support: who cares for the volunteers? in the Humanitarian Exchange and participation in a global awareness raising event organised by Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on World Humanitarian Day 2018: Breaking the silence: promoting action on aid worker mental health.

The PS Centre supported volunteers working in complex emergencies in Afghanistan, Mali and Sudan by strengthening the systems of the National Societies, their structures and skills to support staff and volunteers as well as the capacity for self-care of staff and volunteers.

Using PFA for Groups to support teams – an innovative approach

Photo: SARC