By Daria Zeoli, Guest Contributor

Activist burnout is something that many of us are affected by. I recently discussed my own experiences with exasperation, misanthropy, and detachment in the article Breaking Free from Vegan Burnout. I believe that burnout is a nasty cycle, and it can be very easy to find oneself in the throes of it. Please know that if you find yourself feeling burnt out, or feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. In fact, I’m happy to tell you that there is help for those who need it.

This past April, In Defense of Animals launched its Animal Activist Helpline.  The Helpline is available to activists in the United States and Canada by phone at 1 (800) 705-0425 or by email at [email protected]. Trained counselors are available if you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or alone in your activist efforts, or if you’re upset or depressed by conflict. They can also help with vegan resources, self-care tools, and strategies to help animals.

The hours of operation are as follows:

Friday, 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST/5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. EST
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. PST/11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST
Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. PST/11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST

In IDA’s own words:

Our goal is to help animal activists gain clarity on their missions, work effectively and efficiently, create successful and satisfying careers, balance activism with the rest of their life, and avoid (or heal from) burnout and trauma.

The Animal Activist Helpline is a free and confidential service; part of IDA’s Sustainable Activism Campaign, which provides “emotional and spiritual support for animal activists via workshops, teleseminars, retreats, and blogs to ensure that activists can continue helping animals for the long haul.”

Helpline volunteers, with experience in psychology or animal activism, are also needed. More details, including requirements and how to apply, can be found at http://www.idausa.org/idas-animal-activist-helpline/.

The activist world is wide and varied; we all have such unique perspectives, techniques, coping mechanisms, communication skills, and stories. How wonderful it is that we can reach out when we need to – to seek help when help is needed, to seek answers when we have questions, to seek others when we feel alone.