Mental Health for Journalists

Mental Health for Journalists

Editor’s note: Besides the resources listed here, you also can find mental health and reporting safety resources here: Covering Protests and Pandemic Reporting Safety. This page features resources for journalists with mental health needs and also links for covering mental health.

The Dart Center Style Guide for Trauma-Informed Journalism
The style guide is designed as a quick, authoritative reference for reporters, editors and producers working on tight deadlines. It includes brief evidence-informed guidance on news choices, language usage and ethics in reporting on the impact of trauma on individuals, families and communities; recommendations for appropriate use of relevant psychological and scientific terminology; and special considerations when reporting on consequential trauma-laden issues such as racism and sexual violence.

Dart Center: Resources for Covering Disasters
Includes materials on mental health and trauma.

Dart: Journalism Trauma Support Network
The program’s mission is to establish an international community of qualified therapists trained to care for trauma-impacted journalists. It provides therapists with cultural competence and data security training, peer support and referral pathways.

Dart Center: PTSD and Mental Health

Dart Center: Self-Care Tips for Journalists

Dart Center: Reporting on Sexual Violence in Conflict
An excellent resource from Dart Center Europe.

Dart Center: Guide for Editors Working with Freelancers Exposed to Trauma

Dart Center: Choosing a Psychotherapist
Tips from a therapist on how journalists can pick one best for them.

Dart Center: Journalist Trauma Support Network

Dart Center: Trauma and Journalism Handbook

Dart Center: How Can Indigenous Reporters Care for Themselves While Covering Trauma
And how newsrooms can help.

Dart Center: Chair Yoga for Journalists
Watch this YouTube video on ways to relieve stress and stretch … without leaving your desk.

The Journalist’s Resource: Journalists are Under Stress. What’s the Solution?

The Journalist’s Resource: Self-Care Tips for Journalists

The Journalist’s Resource: How Journalists’ Jobs Impact Their Mental Health
An excellent research roundup.

The Journalist’s Resource: Studies on Kids Dealing with Mental Health Issues During COVID-19

The Journalist’s Resource: Loneliness Among Older People: A Research Roundup
Harvard research site offers 5 tips for covering the topic

RTDNA: Newsroom Mental Health Resource Guide

RTDNA: Newsroom Depression: Warning Signs and Strategies

RTDNA: Newsroom Managers are Traumatized Too

RTDNA: How to Add Well-Being to a Newsroom Disaster Plan

IJNet: Mental Health and Journalism Toolkit

IJNet: Mental Health Tips for Journalists

IJNET: Tips for coping after reporting distressing and traumatic stories

Online Course: Responsible Reporting on Suicide for Journalists
A free online course offered by Johns Hopkins University to teach reporters how to safely cover the topic of suicide. Over 100 studies have found that certain types of news stories on suicide can contribute to more suicide deaths, while others can encourage people to seek help. This course, which can be started and completed at any time, explains this research and gives journalist concrete tools to cover suicide, including simulated interviews with a parent who lost a child to suicide and assignments to pick B-roll for video stories on the subject.

Journalists Covering Trauma Facebook Group

GIJN: Resources for Journalists Coping with Trauma
List compiled from 2021 IRE Conference.

GIJN: Resilient Reporting: Tips on How to Cope with Burnout and Trauma

GIJN: How COVID-19 Compounded Journalism’s Mental Health Crisis

First Draft News: Journalism and Vicarious Trauma
A guide for journalists, editors and news organizations.

IRE 22 Tipsheet: Coping with Trauma Tipsheet
A regularly updated list of resources from Dr. Elana Newman at the Dart Center and Naseem Miller at The Journalist’s Resource.

IRE 22 Tipsheet: Coping with Trauma as a Journalist
Tips from Zack Newman, investigative data producer with 9NEWS (KUSA-TV)

IRE 21 Tipsheet: A Conversation on Mental Health
A handout full of great advice from a 2021 IRE conference panel

Texas Observer: Journalists are First Responders Too

Poynter: Self-Care for Journalists

USC Center for Health Journalism: It’s Time Journalists Take Their Own Mental Health Seriously

American Psychological Association: Journalists as Precarious First Responders

Association of Health Care Journalists: Mental Health

Journalists Are Under Stress: What is the Solution?
Research and resources from Harvard’s Journalists Resource.

J-Source: When the News Breaks the Journalist

Mayo Clinic: Job Burnout: How to Spot it and Take Action

API: Newsroom Managers are Burned Out – Is it Time for a Work Redesign?

Under Pressure: Coping With Stress – and Knowing You’re Not Alone
From Ken Armstrong at ProPublica.

National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center

Study Hall: The COVID Reporters Are Not OK. Extremely Not OK

Nieman Lab: Journalists Are Suffering Mental Health Consequences from Covering COVID-19

Nieman Reports: How Journalists Are Managing Their Mental Health

Nieman Storyboard: Five Tips for Journalists Covering Mental Health

Reuters Institute: It’s Time for Newsrooms to Tackle Taboos About Mental Health

The Carter Center: Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health

Under Pressure: Coping With Stress and Knowing You’re Not Alone
Tipsheet from Ken Armstrong of ProPublica

Online News Association: News organizations: Here’s What Your Teams are Trying to Tell You About Burnout

Nieman Storyboard: An Editor’s Sensitive Guide to Interviewing Trauma Victims

Keep in Mind Seven Lessons in Mind When Interviewing Trauma Survivors
From USC’s Center for Health Journalism.

RJI: Best Practices for Trauma-Informed Journalism

Ground Truth Project: Interviewing People Who Have Experienced Trauma

SAMHSA: Covering Trauma and Violence
Resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

Transom: Trauma-Informed Reporting
Excerpts from Alice Wilder’s Twitter thread about trauma-informed interviewing techniques.

RCFP: Police, Protesters and the Press
A guide from 2020 that offers some mental health/trauma resources.

International Association of Chiefs of Police: Tips for Interviewing Trauma Victims
Written from a cop’s point of view but has some great ideas on phrasing questions.

Trauma Stewardship Institute
Many tipsheets, a podcast and much more.

Media Guide-o-Matic
A WordPress free plugin has been launched to help reduce stigma surrounding mental illness. Canadian journalist Karissa Gall teamed up with the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma to launch the free “Media Guide-o-Matic” plugin on the widely-used WordPress platform. Similar to how spell-checking tools automatically check for spelling mistakes, Media Guide-o-Matic automatically checks draft WordPress posts for words and phrases that have been identified as contributors to stigma in the third edition of Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health. The plugin saves time for journalists who publish their work on the widely-used WordPress platform, and helps them improve their reporting. How to Report on Neurodiversity Accurately and Ethically

CJR: Journalists Need More Help Than Ever Coping With Work Trauma

Resources galore for dealing with online harassment. Built by journalists for journalists.

Covering Mass Tragedies
A guide from the Journalists Covering Trauma Facebook Group.

Journalism’s Mental Health Dilemma

Vice: When Being a Journalist is Terrible for Your Mental Health

Carrying Trauma: Care for Journalists and Sources
Great tips from Trollbusters and the Dart Center.

WNYC Podcast: Journalists Are Burning Out

Vice: The Reporters Who Survived the Capital Riot Are Still Struggling

AAPI Journalists’ Financial Assistance for Mental Wellness
Fill out this form to ask for help.

International Women’s Media Foundation: Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund

Product Hunt: Peer Collective
Connect with clinically vetted peer mental health professionals through Zoom or phone. Affordable, on-demand support.

How Covering Violent Crimes Impacts Journalists’ Mental Health

Stanford: Media & Mental Health Initiative

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Resources Archive

Rural Journalists Deal with Mental Health Toll of COVID-19

Harvard Business Review: Beyond Burned Out
Story on people burning out during the pandemic. Subscriber-only article.

ICFJ: How Disinformation and Hate Fuel Online Attacks Against Women Journalists

Online Therapy Platforms for Veterans