About Us | Mandala Staff Support

Who We Are

Mandala Staff Support is a social enterprise dedicated to providing specialist psychological and psychosocial staff support to the aid and development sector. We work closely with organisations based in Australia and beyond to help them reduce the risk of psychological injury to their field staff and volunteers by strengthening systems of staff care and support. Our aim is to help build a stronger, healthier and more resilient aid sector.

Arising from the former Mandala Foundation (2006-2017), we retain the same core team and the same commitment to working systematically to prevent, mitigate and manage psychosocial risk in the sector.

How We Work

Our approach to staff support is integrated and systematic. As such, we work to strengthen aid worker wellbeing across a number of interconnected levels:

  • At an individual level, by equipping aid workers, staff and volunteers with strategies and tools to enhance their own wellbeing in the field or at home, and providing them with access to psychological preparation, counselling and debriefing services;
  • At a manager level, by training and mentoring managers in areas of staff support, psychological first aid and critical incident stress management, and supporting them to identity potential sources of psychosocial risk in the workplace;
  • At an organisational level, by working with organisations to assess their current staff care systems and policies and implement, where necessary, more effective systems of support; and
  • At a sector level, by being ongoing advocates for aid worker mental health and wellbeing.

We practice a resilience-based approach to staff support, where the emphasis is on continuously building up the coping mechanisms of individuals and organisations to enable faster recovery from crisis and adversity.

What We Do

Our services are tailored to address the diverse psychosocial risks and support needs that aid workers may encounter across the different phases of a humanitarian deployment or assignment.

Our core services comprise:

  • Psychosocial Support: specialist psychological and psychosocial support services for aid workers, including psychological assessment, preparation, briefing/debriefing and counselling.
  • Training: workshops and tailored training on a range of topics related to mental health, wellbeing, stress management and psychosocial risk management.
  • Consultancy: tailored consultancy services assisting aid and development organisations to develop, enhance and sustain their own in-house systems of staff support from recruitment through to post-assignment.
  • Resources: psychosocial support resources for aid workers, managers and organisations.

Organisations can access our services on an as-needs basis or as part of ongoing service agreements.

The psychosocial approach

The psychosocial approach to staff care recognises that mental health and wellbeing is influenced by a complex interplay of biological, psychological, social, spiritual and environmental factors. It acknowledges that the system that surrounds an individual is as important to maintaining mental fitness as personal psychological factors.