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  • 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

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

    The Self Investigation
    The Self-Investigation is a foundation that provides a variety of services aimed at improving media professionals’ well-being. It is led by multi-lingual, certified coaches and trainers with five decades of media experience combined. They use evidence-based practices so media professionals can relate to stress and digital overload in a healthier way. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have already trained more than 800 journalists on four continents in response to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    CPJ: Psychological Safety – Covering Gun Violence in Your Community

    Nieman Lab: DEI Efforts Must Consider Mental Health and Online Abuse

    SPJ MMJ Safety Guidelines
    Safety and security, legal, ethics and mental health resources for multimedia journalists.

    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.

    Nieman Lab: Challenging the Stereotype of Uvalde’s Plucky Child Survivor

    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

    International Women’s Media Foundation: Resources for Mental Health and Dealing with Online Abuse

    Journalist Trauma Support Network

    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

    IWMF: Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund

    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.

    Caregiving Coverage Style Guide
    Journalists should avoid “ageist” language that depicts older adults in offensive, dismissive, unflattering, or incorrect ways. These might be terms such as “frail,” “doddering,” or “over the hill.” The New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, a coalition of universities and news partners in these two states, has developed this guide to help.

    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

    Quartz: Mental Health at Work: the Risks and Rewards of Being Open About Yours
    How to address burnout and care for yourself at work.

    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.

    Journalism.co.uk: How to Report on Neurodiversity Accurately and Ethically

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

    Troll-Busters
    Resources galore for dealing with online harassment. Built by journalists for journalists.

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

    Americans’ Reported Mental Health at New Low; More Seek Help (2022)

    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.

    Six Steps to Protect Newsroom Mental Health

    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.

    The Trevor Project: Study on LGBTQ Youth and Mental Health (2022)

    Mental Health Coping Skills
    Blog and resources for people with mental health disabilities and those who care for them, along with various videos, free ebooks and some fiction. Written by Leif Gregersen.

    Online Therapy Platforms for Veterans