Psychologist Anthony Feinstein examines a confluence of factors that can undermine the emotional well-being of journalists, including the emergence of new threats in Syria, the relentless nature of the conflict and those predominantly tasked with covering it. This piece was originally published in The Globe and Mail.
Resources for PTSD & Mental Health
Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center, has been recognized with the 2014 Public Advocacy Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) for his “outstanding and fundamental contributions to the social understanding of trauma.”
ABC Australia's News 24 Presenter/Reporter Kumi Taguchi took a break from the quick turnaround of TV news to spend two weeks at a Melbourne repatriation hospital to work on a feature story about PTSD experienced by returned soldiers, The Battle After The War. In this piece, Taguchi writes about becoming comfortable, gaining trust, and her decision to write exclusively for online.
Following the murders of Steven Sotloff and James Foley by Islamic State extremists, foreign correspondent Nadine Marroushi wrote in The Telegraph about the physical and mental health risks of reporting from conflict zones, and her own battle with PTSD.
Photographs and video of horrifying, violent acts may provide essential documentation of human tragedy. But however compelling its news value, traumatic imagery needs to be handled with care, as it can place the wellbeing of those who work with it at risk. Click for Arabic, French and Spanish translations.
The results are in from the only controlled study to date on the effects of trauma on journalists covering the conflict in Syria, which has claimed the lives of 63 reporters and media workers since 2011.
When Patrick Howse returned to London after a seven year tour of duty in and out of Baghdad as the BBC's bureau chief, a seemingly ordinary incident on the Central Line tube took him back to the war, and triggered the onset of PTSD. It also changed his life.
(The painting image below, "PTSD Patrick," by Inge Schlaile.)
New Zealand's Law Commission recommends Parliament restrict the media's reporting on suicides in an effort to prevent copycat suicides.