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The Nieman article I put in the chat before we started is particularly relevant to some of the stuff Bruce just said.
Can you share that link to the Nieman article again?
So true! We had a photographer who was in the thick of a police chase and he came back clearly traumatized by it. Managers were coming out of every corner of the room to offer help. We ultimately sent him home and also connected him with support from HR.
I'd love to hear more tips on how to deal with reporters self censoring and trying to please sources. We have an issue in our area with politicians refusing to talk to us, calling us "fake news" etc.
Good questions/thoughts, CJ and Isadora. We will get these in
In terms of professional support, my biggest challenge is referring people to HR services, because there are only a few free counseling sessions covered by HR policy and some reporters don't feel like they earn enough to pay for therapy with the deductible. I feel like I can't help them when they tell me they can't afford therapy but are experiencing PTSD from a story.
Another challenge is then do you encourage someone who is going through it to find a beat that involves less violence? How do you help guide them on story selection when obviously we do need to cover shootings, war, rapes, etc.
I also have a question about how to approach colleagues who have trauma in their backgrounds and it’s clearly impacting their work. I’m not their direct boss…I’ve suggested getting outside help or things I do or have done, but I do wonder how far to go/ways to help. Their potential is so high, yet there’s this block. I go between, it’s not my place and I want them to be their best, and maybe x or y could help.
Thanks for all those great questions. Please keep them coming!
did anyone else lose sound?
All good here
I can hear!
Not sure what's being said but I whole heartedly agree with having a self-care plan.... I'll log out and back in
Hello! I'm the breaking news editor in a relatively small newsroom. Our team does a pretty good job of sharing the load, but often the most traumatic assignments/stories do fall on the same small group of people (my team/me), and it's often in a "when it rains it pours" fashion. What are some suggestions for helping reporters (and myself) pace the load in situations where there aren't a lot of other options beyond forging ahead? Some things I'm already doing: Making sure people have opportunities for stories that aren't just doom and gloom, checking in with reporters, modeling self care, etc.
See link to Beacon Health Options and see everything offered through our EAP - https://mylifeatwork.ehr.com/us/en/Health/Pages/Employee-Assistance-Program-(EAP).aspx
Sarah, great question/point Let’s get to that
Another way to get there-
Tip sheets can be found here: https://dartcenter.org/resources?type=16
In terms of self-care, I've told colleagues that, when needed, it's okay to take time off to prioritize their health and allow time to process, exercise, sleep, etc. But what happens when they use up PTO and then later they may be stressed because they don't have enough PTO for personal plans they had already made?
Robbie, thanks for this. I’ll ask LaNita to reply
They should always reach out to MetLIife because their situation may be covered under Short Term Disability and the Family Medical Leave Act depending on the circumstances. If approved, only the first 5 days are counted towards PTO.
Our EAP plan allows 5 free appointments per issue.
With our medical insurance, if you have the Low or Mid plan, mental health services are subject to the deductible just like a doctor's appointment.
The high plan is not subject to a deductible, but requires a $50 co-pay.
I would try and identify other people who may not have directly covered the shooting, who we may be able to tap to jump on this hurricane coverage
I really appreciate the tip of motivating staff by naming why the work has value.
If enrolled in our medical insurance, you can also see a behavior health specialist through MDLive via video. For the Low and Mid plans, it is subject to the deductible and a $25 co-pay for those who have the High plan.
I will send MD Live information to Mackenzie to distribute after this webinar.
Cristina, I thought the same thing. We’re mission driven people! It’s so important to remember and hear what we’re doing and why it’s so important.
Check in on her and ask how she's holding up
Acknowledge the traumatic or heavy work she's been doing and check in to see how she's doing
and try to get her away from the work. Go for a walk and get coffee or ice cream
Here is an excellent tip sheet that relates to Skill Practice 2: https://dartcenter.org/resources/handling-traumatic-imagery-developing-standard-operating-procedure
I have. We lost coworker and friend who died while working with us. And a coworker struggled quite a bit because she'd just lost her mom a few weeks before. The EAP was a good resource to refer her to.
If you're on the other side, how do you start up the conversation with a manager, supervisor, editor about needing help/resource - especially when previous efforts have went nowhere.
Thank you. This was wonderful.
Thanks at ton, Bruce. We appreciate it.