Media is a stressful profession, especially in conflict-ridden regions of the world, such as the Middle East.
Evidence shows that the rate of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among journalists can be as high as in war veterans. This past year was full of consecutive crisis and while journalists were covering all the simultaneous unfortunate events in the country, mainly Beirut’s explosion, they were dramatically affected by the several burdens that weighted down their level of resilience.
Fe-Male had to take action and planned a Self-care and Wellbeing retreat for journalists in Lebanon, with a generous and urgent support from our partner UK Sigrid Rausing Trust. This retreat was designed to help journalists take care of their wellbeing and cope with the trauma and stress accompanied by their work on ground. Twenty frontline Journalists from different national and regional media outlets spent two days at Masabki Hotel in Chtaura, where they participated to different sessions around the Pathways of wellbeing, Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Mental agility, Resilience and PTSD. With the help of experts, sessions were focused on highlighting the impact of compassionate reactions as well as the possibilities of burnout during long and challenging assignments. Also, the trainers shared with the media professionals tips and tools to equip themselves with for future crisis-related work, and to achieve a better understanding of possible risk factors, preventing additional distress. In addition to practical tips, the interventions worked on both mental and physical levels including Mindfulness, breathing techniques, Zumba fitness workout and laughter yoga therapy.
The retreat had a great sense of enthusiasm that was vastly expressed throughout the event, and journalists feedback proved the need to such activities in the future. “This training is very important because we are living in the vitious cycle of a continious stress in the media career, we still haven’t got over the situations and sometimes we live in denial of our negative emotions that we burry inside us that’s why this seminar is very essential for our wellbeing”, said Elsy Moufarej from MTV.