Welcome to the Feminist Wellness Blog

Dr. Carol Labor
Senior Advisor, Collective Care and Team Lead, Feminist Wellness Academy at Purposeful
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Welcome to the Feminist Wellness Blog, a thought leadership series created by Purposeful. This first post serves as an introduction to the Feminist Wellness Academy, a hub centered on our individual and collective wellness guided by Goal 6 of Purposeful’s strategic goals:  Hold spaces of healing, feminist solidarity building and collective care for our people, our partners, and the movements we love.

The Feminist Wellness Academy was established to build capacity and strengthen systems of care in the areas of Collective Care: feminist wellness, feminist leadership development, and Mental health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) in Sierra Leone, and beyond to increase access, learning, and development.

Wellness is defined as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal” (Merriam-Webster, 2021).  The term “Wellness” is the current buzzword in Sierra Leone. Covid19 has shed a light on the importance of highlighting mental health and wellness in mid and post Covid19 recovery efforts. At the Feminist Academy, we are decolonizing mental health strategies rooted in patriarchy and oppression; and re-imagining emotional healing and resilience through a Wellness Movement that revolutionizes individual and collective wellness and care.

Taking bold action, the Feminist Wellness Academy is prioritizing mental health and wellness in Sierra Leone by creating a cultural wellness model and system of care through high-level technical assistance on policy, guidelines, and evidence-based psychoeducation and trainings; and service delivery of MHPSS that impacts the social determinants of health across various sectors of Survivors of SGBV, Feminists, and Practitioners. Grounded in values of reciprocity and solidarity, exchanging strategies and co-creating our collective wellness across borders for a new kind of world, we are leading a global conversation on wellness, embarked on an intensive country-wide situational analysis; and designing, developing, and delivering evidence-based trainings to strengthen programs and access to and for the system of care in the African context.

We aim to strengthen the system(s) of care in Sierra Leone entrusted with our individual and collective mental health and wellness, inclusive of our workplaces, communities, homes, health-care systems, and service-oriented organizations.

Centering lived expertise through Feminist Wellness, Trauma-Informed MHPSS, Feminist Leadership Development, and Innovation the Feminist Wellness Academy’s initiatives centers around three areas that prioritise internal and external stakeholders:

Feminist Wellness Program – As Feminists, Advocates, and Survivors, the work that we do to empower girls and end SGBV is emotionally tasking. Our Feminist Wellness Series consists of internal workshops and programme prioritizes deep embodiment in our overall well-being. Cultivating radical imagination through physical activities and interactive workshops, we use joy as resistance to provide strategies and tools to effectively manage our wellness and improve long-term health and wellness outcomes.

Feminist Leadership Development – We are designing and delivering an innovative 21st century personal and professional leadership development programme grounded in the African Feminist Movement for the next generation of feminists to develop skills and strategies through blended learning with a targeted focus on Feminists at internally Purposeful.

Trauma-Informed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) – Recognizing the power in diverse cultures and belief systems, we are offering an evidence-based certificate program to our external partners and stakeholders to decolonize patriarchal and Western methodologies and approaches to therapy for mental health and trauma and create and facilitate effective and comprehensive evidence-based approaches that promote healing to support survivors of SGBV, while integrating other vulnerable populations through outreach and coalition building with a targeted focus on mental health practitioners as we strengthen the system of care in Sierra Leone.

Join us as we revolutionize wellness in Sierra Leone; explore wellness in heterogenous communities and amongst vulnerable girls, mentors, and feminists that are creating change in this space of the Feminist Wellness Blog as Thought Leaders through internal and external guest/contributing authors.