Psychological First Aid: Mental Health Care Tips for Journalists

This event was the first in a series of online events designed for freelance journalists.

Our very first online event, Psychological First Aid: Mental Health Care Tips for Journalists, was held in partnership with Al Jazeera.

Freelance journalists from around the globe, including Syria, Colombia, Nigeria and the UK, were in attendance to hear speakers Juliana Ruhfus (Al Jazeera), Wael Dabbous (freelance journalist/filmmaker) and Gavin Rees (Dart Centre) discuss mental health and how to take care of yourself.

“An amazing experience on how to deal with mental health
especially after covering disaster stories”.

We know how a combination of danger, financial insecurity, long hours and a lack of protection all contribute to psychological and physical stress for freelance media workers. Therefore, it’s vital to develop avenues to acknowledge and discuss these challenges and outlets to express feelings.

Our panel was on hand to broach a range of topics, from practical advice about setting up local freelancer support groups, to the importance of giving agency to victims of trauma in your work.

“She (Juliana) was speaking from her deep experiences and I felt
the connection right away”.

Participants raised important questions such as how to identify when you, or a colleague, is suffering from mental health issues and coping mechanisms for those affected by stress were also shared.

“A very important project”.

Everyone agreed that the adverse effects of working as a freelancer with little support need more attention and welcomed similar opportunities to take part in discussions in the future.