Articles tagged with: working in AIDS Service Organizations

Need more care for ASO staffers with mental health issues

published: February, 02, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy talks to Toronto’s Ed Argo about the mental health issues that plagued him while working in AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) and why he feels more needs to be done for those in similar situations.

Need more care for ASO staffers with mental health issues

Bob Leahy: Hi Ed. Why don’t I start by asking you why you contacted me? Ed Argo: Many reasons. I’m a person that has lived and lives with mental health issues such as chronic depression, acute anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and I’ve been thinking about how this connects with GIPA (greater involvement of people living with HIV) and people living with HIV working in AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs). I’m a great believer in Ontario’s Positive Development Leadership Institu

One year at Terrence Higgins Trust

published: September, 08, 2016 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

Alex Sparrowhawk on his first year working for an AIDS service organization (ASO) in the UK

One year at Terrence Higgins Trust

This time last summer I left the comfort of my old workplace, which I loved and had spent eight years developing my career in, to jump into the unknown. A new sector, new(ish) city, new people and a brand new job. I’d always had a vision to work in HIV eventually, but always presumed this would come much later in life, potentially when I was looking to wind down (haha, if only I’d known…) or fancied something different before I retired. But when the opportunity presented itself

Outside the doors of my HIV clinic

published: March, 28, 2016 Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Don Short on helping people in need, but as a regular guy or as an ex-case worker?

Outside the doors of my HIV clinic

Uneventful days are created by indecision.  I have had way too many days suspended in apathy, numbing myself from the possible outcomes of decision. If I reach out and help someone, I begin to speculate…Will this turn on me? This is a message I have reluctantly believed. Years of working in a hostile, toxic environment had made me question the motive for compassion and helping my fellow man. The mixed messages and political alliances of that time choked the life out of empathy.   Take o

Transformation

published: February, 17, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Women, Features and Interviews, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Peterborough, Ontario’s Brittany Cameron has changed her life around. From the streets to working in an AIDS Service Organization doing peer engagement work she loves, she talks to Bob Leahy about transitioning from client to staffer – and everything else

Transformation

Four years ago when PositiveLite.com last wrote about HIV-positive Brittany Cameron she was a client of Peterborough’s PARN - Your Community AIDS Resource Network. She talked about positive parenting, bringing three little girls into the world, all HIV-negative. Since then she has gone back to school and become a staff member at the same agency, facing new challenges. Bob Leahy: Hi Brittany. Let’s start by telling me a little about the job you’re in. Brittany Cameron: I’m the peer e

Smoke and mirrors

published: July, 14, 2015 Written by // Michael Yoder Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Michael Yoder

Michael Yoder says those of us who do HIV work often hide our true feelings. For him “we hide our insecurities under the masks we wear and plug along – the emptiness and loneliness and sense of isolation are not to be mentioned.”

Smoke and mirrors

“I've looked at life from both sides now From win and lose and still somehow It's life's illusions I recall I really don't know life at all.” Joni Mitchell  We recently had our Pride week in Victoria, and every year for the past several years I’ve committed to doing gender-fuck clown drag (I don’t make a pretty woman on a good day). I create some bizarre dress, slap on a wig and too much make-up, draw my eyebrows way up high and become someone else for a while.  What struck me t

Self care: easier said than done?

published: March, 23, 2015 Written by // Michael Yoder Categories // Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Michael Yoder

Burnt out? Michael Yoder says “we are very skilled at talking to others about the importance of self care, while we burn out like the last remnants of a candle.”

Self care: easier said than done?

“You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Eleanor Brownn Walk the dog. Dance and sing. Paint a painting. Meditate… Self care is one of those things we’re always being told we must do in order to maintain our mental/emotional/spiritual/physical selves. I’ve read many lists (and even compiled them myself) that ream off loads of really “happy place” things we should do to make our lives better and better.  It’s an intriguing theory and about as elusive as the Yeti.  What I’v

I need more than a hot bath

published: October, 06, 2014 Categories // Health, Lifestyle, Opinion Pieces

Megan DePutter on why the response to vicarious trauma in the HIV/AIDS sector needs to go beyond “self-care”

I need more than a hot bath

A friend of mine told me about an experience she had while working for an NGO that provided disaster relief and emergency food services. At the time they were responding to the emergency in the Philippines and, naturally, my friend was feeling the impact of being constantly exposed to the trauma of this (and other) terrible disasters. My friend (partly with my encouragement, I’m afraid) approached her employer. She admitted that she was being impacted by vicarious trauma and asked for guidan