Addressing Stress in National Staff

posted in: Knowledge Downloads

Secondary traumatic stress and burnout can affect national staff too.


By Dr. Siddharth Ashvin Shah, CEO and Founder, Greenleaf Integrative

Shah, S.A. (2008). Addressing Stress in National Staff.  Monday Developments: The Latest Issues and Trends in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance (pp. 21-22). Vol 26:9, September 2008. InterAction.


The geographic cure. R&R. Regular alcohol use with compatriots in an end-of-day cathartic ritual. Phone calls to family. Many readers will recognize these NGO worker attempts to deal with humanitarian aid stress. Although these interventions might mitigate the stress and workplace difficulties that accumulate into burnout, they leave untouched an important category of occupational stress: secondary traumatic stress (STS)—the neurobiology that humanitarian workers develop in the process of working with other people’s trauma. Given that STS is such a massive topic and that it has been dealt with in the humanitarian literature in a general sense, I want to focus on the untold opportunities for humanitarian efforts when we engage with the stress vulnerability and resiliency of national staff. (Download PDF to continue reading…)


Download PDF File