This infosheet compiles suggestions on dealing with critical incident stress and helping others respond to it. Critical incident stress can be caused by events at protests and mass mobilizations such as: use of terror tactics (sometimes indiscriminately) by police, including physical, mental and sexual assault; the experience of prolonged and intense fear; being separated from injured colleagues; and sexual harassment by other protestors.
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This piece of writing comes out of a series of discussions which occurred on the forums of libcom.org. It was repeatedly raised that depression, mental illness, and emotional stress are very common amongst libertarian political activists. Furthermore, suffering from mental illness as someone who is politically active often comes with its own set of complications. Sometimes the wider anarchist/ activist community is supportive and helpful. Other times, we can feel just as alienated amongst fellow anarchists as we do from the rest of capitalist society. With that in mind, the goal of this pamphlet is to offer some advice on what’s generally helpful in maintaining overall mental health.
The Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) is the voice of all military women – past, present and future. They are a member-driven community network advocating for the individual and collective needs of service women.