Mexico: Freelancers Working with Trauma and Crisis
in November 2015, RPT teamed up with Mexican partners Tech Palewi to provide training for freelancers dealing with the psychological effects of living and working in such violent and threatening conditions.
A recent study by a Mexican university revealed that 41% of Mexico’s journalists are suffering from the PTSD-like symptoms of trauma – more than those covering conflict. Another found that that those reporting on local drug trafficking suffered from high anxiety, depression and fear for their safety.
The Trust has been working to support Mexico’s freelance journalists for almost a decade now. Our 2008 safety project was the first initiative to tackle the issues of protection and security among freelancers and we have provided training and assistance grants to 67 freelancers since then. But we have also recognised that more needs to be done to help Mexican freelancers who struggle to report and survive in such threatening conditions, and look after their mental health.
So, in 2015, we partnered with Tech Palewi, a Mexican organisation who specialise in working with people in situations of trauma and crisis, to run a workshop for Mexican freelance journalists working in some of the country’s most dangerous areas. Over two days 12 freelancers learned how to incorporate trauma awareness and management into their everyday working practices. They were taught how to identify the symptoms of trauma and were given techniques on how to manage its effects on themselves and others.
We are hoping to continue providing longer term trauma support through further workshops and support networks.