The impact of working in high stress emergencies

An ever-growing number of aid workers is being deployed in humanitarian emergencies, providing relief in often rapidly changing circumstances, with limited information and resources and/or in insecure environments, and all with a high degree of urgency. Discussions about the personal impact of this work on humanitarians has remained on the sidelines, if present at all. Yet slowly but surely, the voices are growing louder, such as under the hashtag #bewellservewell, the advocacy by Brendan McDonald (7piliers), the call by Accion Contra la Faim to #ProtectAidWorkers, particularly national staff, and efforts to break the silence on sexual violence within the humanitarian community, through Report the Abuse.


Kick at the Darkness


“Kick at the Darkness” is a documentary by Amy Brathwaite that explores the psycho-social impact of working in high stress emergencies. The topic is presented through a series of candid interviews with aid workers and journalists whose experience spans from some of the most intensive humanitarian crisis of the past decade. The objective of the documentary is to penetrate the silence around the protection, mental health and well-being of national and international aid workers and to create a culture of acceptance, dialogue and action within the humanitarian system.




Since the creation of the film, there has been a momentum in the visibility and expansiveness of the discussion – and a shift from lifting the silence, to trans-formative action, tangible tools and global advocacy. The road is long, but in the short time since Amy Brathwaite created the film, she has been part of a group of change makers who continue to advocate for the protection and well-being of humanitarians while in service of others.


For more information see also:
Twitter hashtag #bewellservewell
1 Comment
  • Festus Ansong

    Amazing revelation and thought provoking experience of an aid worker ,what’s our collective effort to making this situation better for an aid worker is indirectly making humanitarian work more effective.
    Contribute just a little of your earning, cash strength or time to help alleviate the sufferings of the needy in any crisis situation around you.

    11/10/2017 at 4:22 am

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