Mental Health Support for Journalists

Date:  December 14, 2022
Time: 8 a.m. CT
Location: Online

This program is free to WBA Members.

Journalists are the eyes and ears of their communities covering some of the most important stories and topics every day. From a once-in-a-generation pandemic, to protests, school shootings, and life change policy, reporters get a first-hand view of history.

But, that can be challenging and weigh heavy on a journalist, mentally.

To provide a level of support, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, along with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) are offering a four-part series on mental health support to journalists and all broadcasters.

The FREE program consists of four, structured sessions that will include psychoeducation about the impact trauma and acute stress has on individuals. Each program will include tools for helping journalists and broadcasters cope with and reduce the impact their job-related experiences have upon their mental health and well‐being.

MHAM will provide broadcasters with psychoeducation and virtual support groups designed to assist and support its membership in developing healthy ways to cope with the stress and secondary trauma inherent in the field of journalism. Journalism is a profession that includes exposure to traumatic events, including chronic, and sometimes acute, stressors resulting from reporting on these events.

Sessions will be held via ZOOM and attendees can participate completely anonymously. You do not need to turn on your camera or provide your name.  Confidentiality will be assured by WBA, MAB, and MHAM.

Each session will last about two hours. The first 30–40‐minutes will be a psychoeducational program and the remaining time will be used to give participants enough time and opportunity to talk anonymously about their experiences, feelings, and emotions.

The psychoeducational session will be recorded and shared with those who register so they can watch on-demand. The sharing session will NOT be recorded to ensure confidentiality among participants.

Session 1 | July 26: Watch here Password: HealthSupport222
In The Moment of Trauma – What do you do to take care of yourself?
1. Introduction to trauma and its impact on the human brain and mind.
2. Ways to alleviate the physiological and psychological effects of trauma through
polyvagal nerve stimulation, pranayama breathing, and other strategies.
3. Group discussion based upon participant questions/input.

Session 2 | Aug. 24: Watch here Password: HealthSupport222
What to do if your trauma history is triggered by your work?
1. What is a trauma trigger? How do you know if you are being triggered?
2. Ways to address trauma triggers with body‐focused strategies.
3. Group discussion based upon participant questions/input.
Tip Sheet

Session 3 | Sept. 27: Watch here Password: HealthSupport222
Establishing internal boundaries to remain objective

Session 4 | Dec. 14: Watch here Password: HealthSupport222

Mental Health Association in Michigan President and CEO Marianne Huff will lead the discussion with panelists Amyre Makupson, journalist at WWJ-TV and WKBD-TV in Detroit, and Fred Jacobs. President of Jacobs Media Strategies, to provide insight, resources, and strategy pertaining to improving mental health in the industry.

All sessions will be facilitated by Marianne Huff, LMSW, President and CEO of MHAM. Marianne is a fully licensed mental health professional with a clinical designation in the state of Michigan.

Register Here

About the Instructor 

Marianne Huff, LMSW, is President and CEO of Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM). Marianne has more than 20 years of leadership experience, including 12 years of executive-level staff leadership and advocacy within the behavioral health field. Marianne has a passion for improving the lives of people affected by mental health conditions and their families and is an advocate for changes in public policy and legislation that will positively impact the care and treatment of persons with mental illnesses.

Prior to her leadership roles at MHAM, Marianne served as the Executive Director of Allegan County Community Mental Health Services for six years and as the Director of Advocacy for the Ability Center of Greater Toledo in Sylvania, Ohio. Additionally, as an Advocate at the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Marianne helped individuals and families access mental health services. Marianne uses her personal lived experience to optimistically and passionately lead, advocate and educate to improve the lives of those who struggle with behavioral health challenges and eliminate barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness.

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