Nepal Investigative Multimedia Journalism Network (NIMJN) organized the ‘NIMJN Talk: Well-being for Journalists’ on Friday, July 28, 2023. This session was organized to continue the dialogue on mental health among journalists, following our ‘NIMJN Well-being Program: Let’s talk about the mental health of journalists’ conducted on January 13, 2023. The main objective of this event was to introduce the topic of mental health and mental stress management among journalists. This event was conducted via Zoom, with Dr. Bigya Shah, (M.D Psychiatry; AIIMS) ) a psychiatrist at Patan Hospital, as the key speaker. This session had a total of 22 participants.
The following points were discussed during the session:
- The definition of mental health and the stigma surrounding it
- Causes of mental stress in terms of social, familial, and financial aspects in the journalism profession
- Methods to identify when one is showing signs of being in stress, including physical and mental signs of stress
- Stress management guide in terms of breathing exercises, lifestyle, and general physical exercises
- What not to do when one finds oneself having a stress reaction
- Palm exercise for grounding during stress
- Importance of the 3Ps in long-term stress management (Planning, Problem-solving, Positivity)
- 4Ds for short-term or immediate stress management (Drink water, Distraction, Deep breathing, Delay your action)
The presentation prepared by the key speaker was followed by a Q&A session, where the importance of destigmatizing the topic of mental health was discussed with the participants. The key speaker also stressed the importance of seeking professional help after a certain point of constant mental health issues and also provided the participants with contact details for further personal discussions on this topic and for referrals.
Overall, this event provided an opportunity for journalists in Kathmandu as well as the other provinces of Nepal to participate in this dialogue on mental health and stress management for journalists.