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Focusing on oneself and one’s own values is a proven method to build resilience and lessen the psychological impact of traumatising events.

Journalists in their work may encounter situations that can negatively impact their mental state. Focusing on oneself and one’s own values is a proven method to build resilience and lessen the psychological impact of traumatising events.

Here are five important habits for greater resilience: 

  1. Practicing mindfulness. Journalists often have irregular work/sleep cycles and short exercises such as meditation or keeping a private journal can prevent the buildup of stress and fatigue. 
  2. Sticking to one’s own values. Journalists often face ethical dilemmas. It is important to make choices that don’t compromise one’s ideals. This includes learning to say ‘no’ to prevent compromising one’s own values. 
  3. Keeping a positive mindset. It is a lot easier to recover from setbacks when one has an optimistic view of the world. Seeking out learning experiences, rather than only seeing flaws and mistakes, can help someone grow and overcome adversity.
  4. Self compassion. Journalists have to endure many stressors ranging from physical harm to legal subjugation. When facing such obstacles, it is important to give oneself room to fail and find healthy coping mechanisms for the emotions that failure can elicit. 
  5. Ask for help. Resilience does not mean taking everything on by oneself. Asking fellow journalists for help or seeking out other resources can be a great way to relieve one’s workload or seek guidance in unclear situations. The human condition is a shared experience, and finding those that share one’s struggles can be very beneficial. 

RSF’s Assistance Desk

The Assistance Desk of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) provides financial and administrative assistance to professional journalists and citizen-journalists who have been the victims of reprisals. RSF has also developed a range of psychological safety training modules which have been developed in response to a need observed in the field by our organisation and its network of partners and correspondents. 

Mental health professionals and specialists 

Along with its assistance desk, RSF works with Eutelmed, a leading international network of mental health professionals and specialists (e.g. psychiatrists, psychologists, coaches, speech therapists, school counselors) who offer medical or paramedical services. Available through its secure and confidential web-platform, Eutelmed gives support through consultation in 17 different languages and takes into consideration the client’s culture. 

Helpline directory

Live For Tomorrow, a non-profit startup which works at the intersection of mental health crisis support and digital technology, has created a comprehensive resource of helplines that cover a wide range of mental health issues that are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click here to access their directory of helplines for anyone, anywhere in the world.