Human rights advocates are subject to stress and trauma in their daily work. The Human Rights Institute (HRI) seeks to bolster their resilience by exploring and documenting mental health and well-being practices, providing support to organizations and movements, and developing resources and scholarship.

Human rights and social justice advocates seek to challenge urgent and grave injustices throughout the world, including working to end wars and mass atrocities; tackle racism, economic inequality, and LGBTQI discrimination; and ensure access to water and a healthy environment. As a result, these activists are exposed to significant trauma, which can impact their mental health. 

Advocates suffer from alarming rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, burnout, and stress. Of those professionals surveyed in a Human Rights Resilience Project global study, 19.4% met criteria for PTSD. 

We launched the Resources for Resilience website in 2018 as a platform to support improved responses to the psychological harms that occur in the field. Members develop scholarship and educational resources documenting the effects of human rights activism on mental health, as well as NGO responses

HRI is working on efforts to promote resilience and sustainable activism by collaborating with organizations and collectives from around the world to develop peer-to-peer programming.