Medical assistance, stress management and psychosocial counseling

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Medical assistance, stress management and psychosocial counseling

Some organizations work with partners and network members to provide medical assistance. This can take the form of financial support for defenders in need of medical assistance, ensuring that defenders in need of trauma counseling access support, providing referrals or access to private counselors.

Stress management support is a relatively recent response concerned with helping defenders cope with the psychological duress that can result from their human rights work. New measures have included supporting the staff of an NGO to take a few days retreat to receive counselling or relaxation techniques, individual counselling, medical treatment or to simply have time off.

When designing a program to address mental health issues, it is important to take into account the possibility of inappropriate “medicalization.” This happens when work-related stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress experienced by WHRDs is conceptualized and diagnosed as a medical problem. To avoid inappropriate medicalization, gender-sensitive interventions have been developed that place concepts of empowerment and agency at the center of therapy. These interventions are designed to validate a woman’s experiences and acknowledge her right to make informed decisions affecting her own life, including what treatment she wishes to receive.

To learn more about medical assistance, stress management and psychosocial counseling, please see the Urgent Responses Mapping, pages 9-10.

List of organizations

The following is a list of organizations sorted by region that performs medical assistance, stress management and psychosocial counseling.




Latin America