Navigating Trauma

Navigating Trauma

This zine – written by Mutual Aid Disaster Relief – explores the trauma that can result from political work. It discusses the emotional toll that can result from seeing state brutality, humanitarian crisis, and natural and human-created disasters up close. This toll can include complex and immediate acute distress as well as long-term post-traumatic stress. When these feelings go unaddressed, they can result in burnout and people retreating from the political work. While this zine's context is mutual aid work in the context of disasters, this type of trauma can occurs in other situations (street protests, legal fights, etc). The zine offers suggestions for identifying this trauma and strategies for healing.


The guilt and shame of not having done enough is the bane of almost every activist's life and every campaign. This all comes into much sharper focus when the person suffering is somebody you have met, somebody you know and love. This might seem obvious, but it needs to be said over and over: IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. As catastrophes of climate chaos, war and exploitation will sadly continue on, as solidarity-based relief and aid workers, we need to practice mental health awareness and caring for ourselves and each other in order to be able to navigate through the trauma that working in these spaces can induce. We ask that even in times of crisis, you take time to make your physical and emotional well- being a priority.


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