The mission of Antares is to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and overseas development through advice, training and support.
The staff of humanitarian and development organisations is exposed, through the course of their work, to higher levels of stress than employees in other fields of work. International Humanitarian and development workers often work abroad, and this work can take them to locations which are unsafe, or which are simply very different to their familiar cultural context. National humanitarian and development workers are affected by the context themselves and might be even more vulnerable. They are often required to work with limited resources in a large population of beneficiaries, and this situation can lead to difficult decision making and a situation of great pressure. Long term stress of this nature can have serious mental health consequences. In conflict zones or situations of political instability, threats to physical security and integrity can arise, which can cause serious mental health consequences.
The healthy functioning of aid workers is not only of great importance to the individual, but also to the valuable work of the agencies themselves. It is therefore important that humanitarian and developmental organisations work within a framework which allows them to offer support to their employees. The Antares Foundation assists in the development of this framework. We take a holistic approach to stress management in organisations. We work at every level, from management to individual, to create a functional and sustainable system of staff support.
Our services include:
TRAINING & SUPPORT
- Stress & security briefing and confidential end of assignment session for field staff
- Training and coaching in stress management to national and international NGO’s
- Direct psychosocial support after critical incidents and prolonged severe stress in teams
- Capacity building through face to face and distant based services
MANAGEMENT AND ORGANISATIONAL SUPPORT
- To the managers of humanitarian organisations the Antares Foundation offers project-analysis and evaluation, tools for project management and direct coaching and support both at HQ and in the field
- Assistance with designing staff care and psychosocial support systems within humanitarian organisations for international and national staff
PROJECTS AND CONSULTANCIES
- Design, development and management of international psycho social projects in cooperation with partner organisations
- Assessments of management systems, HRM systems, psycho social support systems or any particular issues related to project management
- Project evaluations: management and staff care issues and mental health and psychosocial projects.
RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS
- The Antares Foundation cooperates with academic institutions in research projects and in developing psychosocial systems and professional management tools. Over the past 9 years we have conducted an extensive research on “Stress in Humanitarian Aid Workers” in cooperation with CDC. The research group is now analysing specific issues relevant to the stresses faced by humanitarian workers and their means of coping. This includes a study of cortisol levels of humanitarian workers during the course of humanitarian deployment and the role of spirituality in shaping perspectives on experience of humanitarian work.
ADVOCACY & LOBBY
To raise awareness of the urgency of her mission the Antares Foundation has several activities, including:
- Development of Minimum Standards on Staff Care & Psychosocial Support
- Development of a Model on Psychosocial Support in Organizations
- Organising and promoting International conferences related to staff support in Humanitarian Settings
DISTANT BASED SUPPORT
The Antares Foundation is creating an online community to connect people, networks and organisations and to enable them to interact together, share quality resources and build knowledge related to staff support, stress management and psychosocial support. The community is free and open to a wide range of people and organisations interested in the enhancement of the psychosocial and mental health well-being of humanitarian aid workers.
Through this community platform, the Antares Foundation also offers distance services such as online stress management and security trainings and online confidential end of assignment sessions for confidential conversations and support during and after missions.