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Our Mission

Our Mission

Our Values

Our Vision

We provide activists, charity workers and humanitarians with wellbeing workshops, events and retreats, creating trauma-informed environments that promote healing and connection.

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A world which prioritises the wellbeing of activists, so activists can continue prioritising the wellbeing of the world.





Why is our mental health important in activism?

As individuals working in humanitarian, charity and activist roles, we frequently encounter difficult and strenuous circumstances while providing assistance to communities in need.


While our work can be undeniably fulfilling, it is crucial to recognise the potential strain on our mental wellbeing. The nature of our roles exposes us to a range of stressors, such as witnessing distressing events, functioning in high-pressure environments, and managing with limited resources. These factors often result in burnout, compassion fatigue, and an increased vulnerability to mental health issues. It is imperative for us to give priority to our mental wellbeing and embrace methods to support ourselves and our colleagues.

Above all, self-care is essential. We need to understand that attending to our own needs is not self-centred but rather vital for us to continue our work. This may involve establishing boundaries, practicing mindfulness or meditation, engaging in physical activities, and ensuring we allocate time for rest.

Cultivating a work environment that is supportive and receptive is crucial. Encouraging regular check-ins with colleagues, organising opportunities for debriefing sessions, and fostering a culture of empathy and comprehension can significantly address the mental health requirements that stem from our work. However, it may not always be possible to seek restoration from our organisation, or our activism may not be connected to our work. So come and look after yourselves with us.


The Joyful Activists endeavours to create a community for us to share our experiences and emotions, where we can diminish the stigma surrounding mental health and promote healing and connection. Where it's possible to love your work and sometimes need to rest from it. Connecting with fellow activists who understand the unique challenges we encounter can offer a sense of unity and validation.

It is only by caring for ourselves that we can genuinely care for others. Come and look after your wellbeing with us.

mental health in the
charity & humanitarian sectors

1 in 23 people globally needs humanitarian assistance and protection.


The demand on charity and humanitarian organisations is monumental.


When our job requires us to support with traumatic, upsetting and emotive situations, our own challenges can feel irrelevant in comparison. This means we often diminish or ignore our own mental health concerns. 

Here's why that doesn't work.


of charity workers in the UK say they feel stress, overwhelm & burnout

(Third Sector, 2021) 


of UK charities want the government to do more to support mental health

(Onepoll, 2021)

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of humanitarian workers who experience mental health conditions attribute it to their jobs

(Global Development Professionals Network, 2015)


of charity leaders have considered quitting due to burnout

(Onepoll, 2021)

how we can help

Meet likeminded people

Higher levels of social support are associated with improved mental health

(International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, 2012)

Belong to our global community

High social solidarity, feeling connected to others, has a positive relation to mental wellbeing


(Ganji, 2012)

Wellbeing workshops

Movement and exercise are known to support with managing stress, improving sleep, improving your mood, improving confidence​, managing symptoms of depression and anxiety​, memory and brain functioning

(Mind, 2023)

Events and retreats

Taking extended time off work can increase life satisfaction, improve mental wellbeing, reduce heart disease risks and reduce anxiety and depression

(American Psychological Association, 2022)

you're a joyful activist if

You care about the world

You want a space to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing

You find the state of the world quite heavy at times and need to take a break

   You feel you might be experiencing burnout, compassion fatigue, depression, anxiety or other mental health challenges related to your work

You want to meet likeminded people and have some fun, be creative and look after yourself

our founder

Katy Massey is an award-winning girls' rights specialist, human rights activist and trauma-informed practitioner. She has worked and volunteered in the charity and humanitarian sectors in the UK and internationally for over 15 years.


Katy holds qualifications in Thrive (neuroscience, child development & attachment theory), Trauma-Informed Doula Education, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Perinatal Mental Health, Child Protection and Advanced Safeguarding, Childhood Adversity, Psychological First Aid, Mindfulness in Schools, Human Rights, Playwork & Early Years, and Teaching in Post-Compulsory Education.


She is currently studying a Masters in Education, Gender and International Development, with her academic research focusing on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for both children and humanitarian workers in global emergencies and humanitarian crises.

She is passionate about building psychological capacity in the charity and humanitarian sectors, having experienced first hand the impact of this work on her own mental health. Prioritising joy, connection and community have been instrumental in her wellbeing and longevity in the sector. Her favourite wellbeing activities are surfing, cold water swimming and hiking.

You can read more about Katy's experience and expertise on her website below.

Our Vision and Values

Prioritise your wellbeing at our virtual and in-person events

Collaborations, practitioners, partnerships and research

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