Free PTSD Help for Journalists in Distress Now Available

An innovative free resource is now available to journalists worldwide who have experienced distress on the job. The Traumatic Stress Clinic at The University of New South Wales, based in Sydney, Australia, has developed a new program for current and former journalists offering assessment, treatment and education concerning possible posttraumatic stress disorder and related psychological injury. 

The program, a clinical trial designed to address the specific nature of trauma and stress experienced by news professionals, involves eight sessions that will be delivered either by a clinical psychologist via Skype, or through a self-help manual that journalists can implement on their own time. It was designed as a public service in consultation with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

The program is:

  • Free of charge
  • Completely confidential 
  • Conducted at flexible times
  • Provided via Skype, phone, or self-help manual

Many journalists experience marked stress in the course of their work. Exposure to disasters, accidents, war, and personal tragedy can take its toll. Even the most experienced journalists can experience stress reactions, which can also be compounded by organizational pressures in newsrooms. One of the potential negative effects for journalists is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may involve distressing memories of events, sleep problems, and general anxiety.

The Traumatic Stress Clinic’s new program aims to coach journalists in skills that will help them to deal with the stresses of the job. This program emphasizes an educational approach because evidence shows that that people contending with PTSD and related issues can benefit from learning new techniques to deal with extreme stress.

Although the techniques in this program represent an established gold standard for helping people overcome PTSD, there is very little evidence for what is the best way to deliver these techniques specifically to journalists. Since journalists are often on the move, and their time is pressured, this program is conducting research to evaluate the optimal way to coach journalists in the required skills. For that reason, this version the program will be provided by clinical psychologists from the Traumatic Stress Clinic via telephone or Skype over 8 sessions. Alternatively, journalists will be provided with a workbook that contains the same material as the program delivered by psychologists, and which will guide journalists to work through the program at their own pace.

The UNSW Traumatic Stress Clinic is one of the world’s leading PTSD research centers. All of its programs are conducted as part of research trials funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

All sessions will be conducted in English.

If you would like to sign up or learn more, please contact the Traumatic Stress Clinic via email or phone: +61 2 8627 3314.

A 15-minute telephone interview will be scheduled. If the clinic believes that you meet the criteria for this program, they will proceed with a full assessment and then commence the program.

Click here for more information about the program, and click below to listen to an interview with clinic director Richard Bryant.