Mental Well-Being
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Mental Well-Being

🧠 General

This is space where we hope to provide some useful links to maintain and improve your mental-well-being.

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Join our #x-mental-wellbeing Hive Slack channel to receive updates about upcoming presentations, mental health memes, resources and supportive messages from other group members. Not on Slack? Join us here.

☎️Helplines

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Find a comprehensive list of Mental Health Helplines here.

Call, text, or email our Animal Activist Support Line for free and confidential support

HOPELINE247 advisers want to work with you to understand why thoughts of suicide might be present. They also want to provide you with a safe space to talk through anything happening in your life that could be impacting on your or anyone else’s ability to stay safe.

👩Therapy

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Find a list of over 40 vegan therapists around the world here.

This tool allows you to have conversations with it, just like you would with a professional or a close friend.

📚 General Resources

⚡Shortform

All the evidence-based advice we found on how to be more successful in any job: If helpful, make mental health your top priority

“There is no “one-size-fits-all” self-care plan, but there is a common thread to all self-care plans: making a commitment to attend to all the domains of your life, including your physical and psychological health, emotional and spiritual needs, and relationships.”

Being a vegan activist in a speciesist world and having a conscious awareness of animal exploitation can be physically and emotionally draining. Creating the time and space to recharge should be high on our to-do lists, but it isn’t easy and we know that.

Animal Save Movement activists use a love-based and caring approach to highlight the importance of a healthy community and motivate the activists to take care of themselves in the process of making this world a better one.

📃Longform (> 30 min)

🔊 Podcasts

Podcasts and Webinars by the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Lakshmin is a psychiatrist who specializes in women's mental health. In her practice, she says, her patients bring up the idea of self-care a lot. But the definitions of self-care they had been sold weren't real solutions to their problems because, as she told me, "You can't meditate your way out of a 40-hour work week with no childcare, without health insurance, without access to actual, real, systemic support that is going to take care of the fact that our world is pretty much constantly on fire."

On the latest episode of Code Switch, I ask Dr. Lakshmin: What is "real" self-care? What is "faux" self-care? And why are those distinctions especially important for women of color?

We also hope that the episode will:

  1. Help people realise that they have a shot at making a difference in the future, even if they’re experiencing (or have experienced in the past) mental illness, self doubt, imposter syndrome, or other personal obstacles.
  2. Give insight into what it’s like in the head of one person with depression, anxiety, and imposter syndrome, including the specific thought patterns they experience on typical days and more extreme days. In addition to being interesting for its own sake, this might make it easier for people to understand the experiences of family members, friends, and colleagues — and know how to react more helpfully.

Several early listeners have even made specific behavioral changes due to listening to the episode — including people who generally have good mental health but were convinced it’s well worth the low cost of setting up a plan in case they have problems in the future.

So we think this episode will be valuable for:

  • People who have experienced mental health problems or might in future;
  • People who have had troubles with stress, anxiety, low mood, low self esteem, imposter syndrome and similar issues, even if their experience isn’t well described as ‘mental illness’;
  • People who have never experienced these problems but want to learn about what it’s like, so they can better relate to and assist family, friends or colleagues who do.

In other words, we think this episode could be worthwhile for almost everybody.

In this episode of 80k After Hours, Luisa Rodriguez and Hannah Boettcher discuss various approaches to therapy, and how to use them in practice — focusing specifically on people trying to have a big impact.

They cover:

  • The effectiveness of therapy, and tips for finding a therapist
  • Moral demandingness
  • Internal family systems-style therapy
  • Motivation and burnout
  • Exposure therapy
  • Grappling with world problems and x-risk
  • Perfectionism and imposter syndrome
  • And the risk of over-intellectualising

In the interview, host Rob Wiblin and Randy discuss the key points of the book, as well as:

  • How the evolutionary psychiatry perspective can help people appreciate that their mental health problems are often the result of a useful and important system.
  • How evolutionary pressures and dynamics lead to a wide range of different personalities, behaviours, strategies, and tradeoffs.
  • The missing intellectual foundations of psychiatry, and how an evolutionary lens could revolutionise the field.
  • How working as both an academic and a practicing psychiatrist shaped Randy’s understanding of treating mental health problems.
  • The “smoke detector principle” of why we experience so many false alarms along with true threats.
  • The origins of morality and capacity for genuine love, and why Randy thinks it’s a mistake to try to explain these from a selfish gene perspective.
  • Evolutionary theories on why we age and die.
  • And much more.

📚Resource Collections

Mental Health by the NHS

“The UK’s National Health Service publishes useful, evidence-based advice on treatments for most conditions. That’s usually a good starting point.”

Mental Health Resources by Mental Health Navigator

“We're committed to providing you with lists of quality mental health resources, and this section of our website has been designed to make navigating those resources easier.”

Covers:

  • Resource Bank
  • Crisis Support
  • Guides
  • Finding Care
  • Supporting Others
  • Mental Health Providers
Sustainable Activism Resources by In Defense of Animals

“Advocating for animals can be immensely rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Constantly defending the vulnerable and oppressed against the forces of thousands of years of culture and commerce can put animal activists at odds with their families, communities, and society.

In Defense of Animals President Marilyn Kroplick, MD, started the Sustainable Activism campaign to help all animal advocates deal with burnout, stress, and trauma. As animal guardians and caretakers, we could all do with more physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing to live happy and healthy lives as we help animals.”

Mental Health Resources by In Defense of Animals
Self-Help Toolkit by Dweebs Global

“This self-help toolkit is designed to help you work through problems on your own, but our mentors are also always here to help guide you. Not everyone can afford a therapist or find a good one and we hope that these tips are a good start to helping you!”

Activist Mental Health by We The Free

Includes Resources on Reslience and Mindfulness

Thriving Activist Toolkit by The Center for the Advancement of Well-Being

“Activists who work for well-being causes can significantly change our world for the better. However, activism can be a stressful process — so it’s vital for activists to manage stress well by investing in their own well-being while they’re working for the well-being of others. CWB Senior Scholar Paul Gorski has developed these resources to help people overcome activist burnout”

“This is a short list of resources and tools that have been helpful in maintaining my mental health. This is focused on animal advocacy, but many of the tools are general to EA / activism more broadly.”

“Maybe it helps to think of mental health as understanding and being able to manage what your brain does, instead of a diagnosis wielded by doctors about a specific disease. So when I’m putting time into mental health, I’m investing in training my brain. […] So here are the best resources I have for investing in your brain. I’ve bolded the most useful ones, so focus on those if you’re short on time. “

“A singular location for Effective Self Help's published reports assessing the most effective interventions for improving different aspects of your personal wellbeing and productivity.”

🧠By Topic

Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Trauma

“Animal advocates work vigorously on the front lines of animal protection, leading undercover investigations, communicating painful stories, attending vigils outside slaughterhouses, and much more. Their passion is undeniable. And while workers and volunteers doing this important work can feel tremendously rewarded, after some time, they may become withdrawn and despondent due to the trauma and suffering they’ve witnessed. This is known as compassion fatigue, which renowned scholar and trauma psychologist Dr. Charles Figley defines as “emotional exhaustion caused by the stress of caring for traumatized or suffering animals or people.” Advocates can experience a wide range of emotions, such as insomnia, dissatisfaction, and emotional numbness. So, how can advocates manage or avoid compassion fatigue? We asked four professionals in the animal advocacy space to give their advice.”

With:

“Awareness begins here. We are committed to gathering, documenting, and disseminating useful information that can be readily introduced into caregiving environments in order to impact the lives of caregivers in a positive way. Below you will find numerous resources created by the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project and founder Patricia Smith specifically for your use, including books, presentations, and documents.”

Burnout

Sustainable Vegan Advocacy Course by Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy

“This course explains the causes of unsustainable advocacy among vegans and offers evidence-based strategies to make your advocacy more sustainable. You’ll learn practical tools for spotting the warning signs of burnout, reversing its effects, identifying and honoring your needs, and building resilience—so that you can feel fulfilled and in balance while advocating and/or practicing veganism effectively for years to come.

Developed by leaders and educators with decades of experience in animal advocacy, the course features short, engaging videos accompanied by activities and resources to help you deepen your learning.”

“The BAT is the result of a three-year research project at KU Leuven. It is a scientifically validated questionnaire capable of determining the risk of burnout at a glance.”

Find a make-a-copy Sheet for the Work-Questionnaire here!

Imposter Syndrome and Perfectionism

“In a nutshell: I have imposter syndrome, and I suspect many other people trying to have a big impact with their career do, too. For a long time, imposter syndrome massively limited the impact of my career by causing me to rule out potentially impactful options and affecting my day-to-day job performance and satisfaction — but through talk therapy and other tools, I’ve mostly overcome it. If you think you might struggle with imposter syndrome, tackling it may be one of the most important forms of personal development you can do. It was for me.”

In today’s extensive conversation, Tim and Rob cover:

  • How perfectionism is different from the pursuit of excellence, scrupulosity, or an OCD personality
  • What leads people to adopt a perfectionist mindset
  • The pros and cons of perfectionism
  • How 80,000 Hours contributes to perfectionism among some readers and listeners, and what it might change about its advice to address this
  • What happens in a session of cognitive behavioural therapy for someone struggling with perfectionism, and what factors are key to making progress
  • Experiments to test whether one’s core beliefs (‘I need to be perfect to be valued’) are true
  • Using exposure therapy to treat phobias
  • How low-self esteem and imposter syndrome are related to perfectionism
  • Stoicism as an approach to life, and why Tim is enthusiastic about it
  • How the Stoic approach to what we can can’t control can make it far easier to stay calm
  • What the Stoics do better than utilitarian philosophers and vice versa
  • What’s good about being guided by virtues as opposed to pursuing good consequences
  • How to decide which are the best virtues to live by
  • What the ancient Stoics got right from our point of view, and what they got wrong
  • And whether Stoicism has a place in modern mental health practice.

Mindfulness and Meditation

🧷 Other/In Progress

Memes & illustrationsCBT toolkit