September 22, 2021
KARACHI —The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at IBA's City Campus has shared a first-of-its-kind research study on the mental wellbeing of Pakistani journalists.
The study Stress and Coping in Journalists is based on the findings of the lead clinical psychologist Dr. Asha Bedar.
During a Facebook live session titled 'What we have learned from running a free counseling service for journalists for three years,' the Executive Director CEJ Kamal Siddiqi informed that the confidential counseling service offered by the CEJ is free of cost. He said anyone who is a journalist associated with a media organization is eligible for it.
"A journalist working on a story tirelessly and not getting any relief from the steady flow of bad news is extremely challenging," he stated. He emphasized that journalists and media workers deserve immense support due to the high-stress nature of their job.
During the live session, Dr. Asha Bedar, a Clinical Psychologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne, Australia, presented the analysis of data collected during the journalist counseling for the last three years.
According to her, every person has to experience extreme pressure while performing professional tasks, which eventually impacts personality and performance.
"It is common for journalists to ignore their physical health, which is tied to their wellbeing," the study revealed. From 2018 to 2020, the CEJ organized various workshops on journalists' wellbeing, focusing on understanding what is happening to media workers in Pakistan.
The CEJ Wellbeing Centre, opened in 2018 at the IBA Karachi, provides free therapy and counseling services to journalists in Karachi (in-person) and virtually to media workers across the country. During these three years, more than 107 journalists were counseled with over 600 hours of therapy collectively. The CEJ has engaged four psychologists in this regard, the study stated.
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