The inevitable mental health revolution » Nieman Journalism Lab

Survey after survey, country after country, the data points to the same reality: mental health has become one of the biggest challenges for journalists. More than 60% of media workers in countries as diverse as Canada, Spain Y Ecuador reported high levels of anxiety in 2022. At least one in five reported depression. Post-traumatic stress disorder and burnout levels are also rising.

The picture is likely to get worse unless we do something about it from within our organizations.

In 2021, some journalists began to speak more publicly about his situation, and 2022 was the year the issue finally came out of the journalism closet. We found out about this through Twitter, articles, books), and the very public cases of reporters breaking in the air.

Even more unprecedented was the sheer number of journalists demanding training to learn how to care for themselves and build a healthier industry. Nearly 10,000, from all corners of the planet, signed up for mental health courses at the gentleman center, it’s river. either The Academy of Self-Inquiry. The topic was included in every major conference, including one completely care-focused.

The demand and the need are clear. In 2023, it is the turn of media organizations to pick up the baton and lead the way towards a more sustainable culture of care in journalism. Managers, editors and publishers around the world: why make such an investment?

Accomplish more with less, because research shows that healthier and happier employees perform better – and they are more likely to stay.

For your audiences, so that they receive more inspiring and hopeful coverage, instead of having to avoid the news due to the negative effect it has on your mood.

Out of shared humanity, to eradicate stigma around mental health.

Or for business. The World Health Organization estimates that anxiety and depression alone It will cost the world economy $1 trillion.mainly in loss of productivity.

Embedding wellbeing as a key value will mean rethinking the way we work so we’re not just sticking Band-Aids on an already unsustainable workload. In the U.S, 84% of employees reported that his workplace had a negative impact on his mental health.

The approach must be systemic and have the support of senior management. The OMS recommends three evidence-based interventions: “manager training for mental health, worker training in mental health literacy and awareness, and individual interventions delivered directly to workers.”

will also mean creating new narratives of what it means to be a “good journalist” and developing different role models, so that we stop indulging in unhealthy practices like always-on, structural overtime, lack of mutual recognition and care, or not having a fulfilling personal life . Otherwise, the industry risks losing more good talent, especially among millennials and Gen Z.

Joining the mental health revolution doesn’t have to be expensive. It requires little investment and generates high returns. We know this because many organizations have already started in other industries, including within journalism. Some newsrooms, for example, began by tapping into the interest of their staff and fostering mental health committees that provide resources and guidance, or establishing community-based safe spaces to share among peers, led or not by an external facilitator. Others provide free access to various therapy sessions as part of their benefits package.

The journalists are ready and the situation is urgent. It’s time for a substantive change in the culture of journalism, and 2023 is the year to start planting seeds for lasting change. The media industry can no longer afford to ignore the mental health revolution.

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