One of the most amazing things of activists is that we often expose ourselves deliberately to violence if we think it’s necessary. What is also amazing, is how little we know about the psychological effects of violence. We should be prepared and support each other when dealing with mental and emotional consequences of high-stress experiences.
One of the good practices in supporting each other, is to make use of a Support & Recovery Team during actions, alongside with a Legal Team and medics. However, as people who just experienced high-stress events might be at their most vulnerable, members of a S&R team should be well-trained to provide adequate support.
This three-days training prepares people to be part of a Support & Recovery Team, which task it is to support activists who experience strong emotional or mental reactions after high-stress events such as police violence or repression. A S&R team can be active during actions but also in the first days or weeks after an action.
Topics that will be covered during this training
- theory on stress-related reactions: their nature and functionality;
- theory on so-called ‘protective factors’: the foundation of resilience and recovery;
- some theory on PFA (Psychological First Aid) (to be read after the training);
- theory and exercises on the skills of Active Listening and S&R talks;
- exercises that can help to cope with stress on a mental level: meditation, mindfulness, breathing techniques;
- exercises that can help to cope with stress on a physical level: massage techniques (with and without touching the other person)
- practical preparations on a personal level and team level when facilitating S&R during actions;
- Sustainable Activism: how to take care of the caretakers?
- Skill-sharing: space to share your personal skills and knowledge, to deepen the S&R training.
The ‘ideal’ participants…
- acknowledge the value of and the need for well-trained Support & Recovery teams;
- are willing to actively be part of S&R teams during and after actions;
- can recognize qualities such as empathy, compassion, good listening and (to a certain extent) stability in themselves;
- have gone through personal experiences as activists, but also experiences of police violence, arrests or other forms of repression.
- the training will take place from Wednesday the 3rd of January to Saturday the 6th of January 2018; details on the location and time will be emailed to the participants;
- we will work in a small group with a maximum of 8 participants;
- you can apply for the training by sending an email to sr-team(at)xs4all.nl. Please specify why you would like to participate in this training, if you have any personal experiences on the matter of strong reactions after high-stress events/trauma-related support/S&R/PFA and a bit on your experiences as an activist;
- apart from €3 pp for the printing the hand-outs, there are no costs involved for the training. However, during these three days we will share potluck lunches and dinners, so all participants are kindly requested to bring food/drinks donations (vegan). If you still would like to make a financial donation, it would be welcomed and appreciated;
- we will do our best to find sleeping places for the participants. If your sleeping place is not at walking distance from the training location, make sure that you can cover the public transport costs (or bring a bike) to go to the training location. And don’t forget to bring your own mat and sleeping bag;
- as the S&R team is invited on international actions and events, the main language during the training will be english.
Questions for more info on the training and/or applications can be send to sr-team(at)xs4all.nl