Coping with stress: can mindfulness help?

March 6, 2014

"...Development agencies are joining the revolution. Over the last three years, I have led mindfulness workshops at Action Against Hunger UK, as well as at our regional training centre in Nairobi and at Save the Children's compound at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. From these experiences, I can see the need for using mindfulness to help overworked, stressed and sometimes depressed or traumatised humanitarian workers. And there are signs the approach is being adopted more widely. TheStart Network consortium of British humanitarian agencies is including mindfulness training in the surge capacity project which plans how many organisations can work together during major emergencies. Mindfulness training for staff (pre-deployment, remotely via Skype while in the field and post-mission) will provide a cost-effective way to manage stress, cope with anxiety, build resilience and increase workers' sense of wellbeing. This is the beginning of an important shift in how we support aid workers. More resilient, happier and mindful personnel will make our organisations more effective so our projects deliver greater positive impacts."