ENGParticipants of the seminar on mental health culture share their impressions and key strategies for overcoming burnout and depression during the war
Trainers from the 2402 Foundation held a two-day workshop on mental health culture for journalists, editors, and media managers in Ukraine at the CEELI Institute in Prague.

Together with Hannah Storm, a mental health coach and co-founder of the Headlines Network, and Gavin Reese, a senior trauma expert at the Dart Center for Trauma in Journalism, they discussed the biggest challenges for Ukrainian newsrooms during the war.

The journalists and editors shared the difficulties faced by journalists and editors in Ukraine, including burnout, traumatic experiences with victims of war crimes, and constant life in war.

Here is what the participants say:

"It is important to take care of ourselves, add more humanity and care for each other to the team's work, continue to hold joint activities to maintain team spirit and a healthy atmosphere, learn to build our boundaries, and allow journalists to have their boundaries. Remind ourselves and the team that taking care of ourselves and our mental health makes us stronger people, better professionals, and adds value to our work and the profession as a whole."

"Proper management and care for mental health allow the team not to burn out, to overcome any difficulties, and the founders not to lose their valuable journalists. A timely response to the problem, a well-thought-out policy, and, if necessary, a timely "stop" are more essential than ever for the Ukrainian media. Feelings of fear, frustration, or lack of strength are not a sentence, you need to listen to your body and not do things by force just because someone else was able to, and therefore I have to."

The workshop participants identified key strategies to overcome burnout and depression during the war. Here are some of them:

1. Favorable team environment. In particular, an atmosphere of mutual understanding and support, informal conversations with colleagues, and joint activities to maintain team spirit.

2. Caring for yourself. You need to set boundaries between your work and personal life, take care of your health and emotional state, consciously choose priorities, and focus on the most significant tasks.

3. Reducing stressful situations. It is worth raising awareness of mental health at the organizational level and appointing "safety ambassadors" in newsrooms.

To summarize

The Mental Health Culture Workshop for journalists, editors, and media managers in Ukraine helped participants share their difficulties and find new approaches to overcoming burnout and depression during the war. We hope that the knowledge and skills gained will help media professionals cope with the challenges they face in their work and improve the level of mental health in the Ukrainian media.

You can download the manual in Ukrainian and English here: https://www.acosalliance.org/trauma-management-for-editors
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