MORROW PROJECT MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING
IMHO, one of the big problems that the Morrow Project should anticipate is damage to the mental health of its personnel (specifically problems like Compassion Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma and PTSD). Granted, MP personnel should anticipate dealing with a horrible situation but – this is TEOTWAWKI – anyone so lacking in empathy that they’ll be unaffected by the catastrophe is unlikely to have been recruited in the first place.
Therefore, I propose that MP training includes the following advice:
1. Assess yourself
Your training is intended to prepare you to assess the problems faced by Survivor Communities; apply the same approach to your own situation. What’s causing you the most stress? What would you like/need to change? If unchanged, what is likely to be the problem(s) that will make you unable to function in the Reconstruction?
2. Start looking at self-care solutions
Again, use your training. You should be able to create MANY solutions for helping Survivor Communities and the type of thinking needed for self-help is similar. Brainstorm with colleagues; find a variety of possible ‘coping strategies’ that you (and other team members) might be able to use. If you’re not able to talk to colleagues, you should seek out MP counselling (psychosocial technicians, or chaplains).
3. Make time for relaxation
You’re given a “Personal Effects Satchel (PES)” for a reason. Select and use the contents wisely. Try to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something other than your MP duties. Watch your favourite movie, read, listen to ‘your’ music, perhaps even do some Yoga. Use whatever works to allow you a transition from MP duties to relative calm
Even though you’re likely to be the only expert in your ‘specialty’, other members of your team should be able to provide some help in your specialist field. YOU MUST ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT. Self-reliance is good, but no-one can do everything and a refusal to delegate can easily lead to burn-out
5. Keep fit
Physical and mental health are linked. It may be a truism but “a healthy mind in a healthy body” is something to aim for. Make time for exercise and ensure that you’re eating properly (your team’s Medical Specialist should be able to advise you on nutrition)