Trauma Self-help Website Launched for News Media Staff
22 February 2007
This week a new self-assessment website launches providing journalists and those who work them with a confidential tool to help them determine if they are suffering the effects of post traumatic stress.
This unique web-based clinic and research facility is now available directly at www.conflict-study.com or through a link on the front page of the website of the International News Safety Institute (INSI) at www.newssafety.com
The website is designed by Dr. Anthony Feinstein, the world's foremost authority on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in journalists, and is backed by CNN.
But it is entirely independent, completely confidential and available to all media organizations and journalists around the world.
http://www.conflict-study.com/ provides a self-help resource for all news media professionals, even those who do not have access to a company-supported PTSD resource. One of the innovative aspects to this service is that journalists can use it while on assignment in zones of conflict.
"Research over the past six years has shown that journalists and media workers assigned front-line assignments may develop symptoms of distress due to the escalating dangers confronted," said Dr. Feinstein.
"This new web site will enable us to provide immediate feedback to those who are searching for answers and guidance as well as to broaden our understanding of how journalists are responding emotionally to these challenges."
The web-based programme will allow journalists to complete self assessments with respect to symptoms of post traumatic stress, depression, general psychological well-being and alcohol and substance use.
Immediate feedback with the option of a printout will be given to all web users. This can then be used to facilitate access to a family doctor or an Employee Assistance Program for therapy, if required. Future development of the site will include versions in different languages.
"I am personally very pleased that CNN was able to facilitate the launch of this website, and that it is available to all media workers," said Chris Cramer, managing director of CNN International.
"We operate in dangerous times and media companies need to be aware of the importance of PTSD as an area of staff welfare that needs to be addressed."
Note to editors
Dr. Anthony Feinstein is the world's leading authority on PTSD in journalists and is the author of "Journalists Under Fire: the Psychological Hazards of Covering War" published this year by the John Hopkins University Press. He is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Canada.