How to Build a Mental Health Strategy for Your Newsroom

How to Build a Mental Health Strategy for Your Newsroom


The relentless and harrowing news agenda of this decade has put the mental health of journalists into sharp focus for news leaders. From Covid to Ukraine and the Israel/Gaza conflict, it’s not only reporters witnessing horrors in the field at risk but those inside the newsroom, facing the threat of vicarious trauma. This new Master Class uses the ANSWERS model developed by its leader, Hannah Storm who is an expert in the mental well-being of journalists:

A     Awareness

N     Needs

S     Stigma

W    Work Process

E     Empathy

R     Recognizing 

S     Support 

Hannah will use the model to guide news leaders through crucial considerations in building a mental health strategy for their teams. Participants will use their learnings and own reflections to begin constructing their own strategies. The course is face to face in Geneva with a follow up call via Zoom 6-8 weeks afterwards to chart participants’ progress.

Who’s it for:

  • Leaders within news departments.
  • News strategists.
  • Health and well being professionals.

What will you learn:

  • Ideas for creating an awareness of mental health in the newsroom.
  • How to identify mental health needs within your department or team.
  • Ways to break the stigma and promote an open and positive attitude towards mental health.
  • How to build a responsive work policy.
  • Techniques to develop greater empathy in yourself and your team.
  • How to recognize signs that team members may be struggling.
  • The support mechanisms you can put in place.

Programme Outline

Day 1

13:00     Introductions

13:20     Awareness and Needs 

14:30     Break 

14:40     Stigma, Work Process and Empathy 

16:00     Break 

16:10     In groups of 3, reflect and discuss how you would address points A-E in your newsroom. 

16:55     Report back 

17:30     Ends 

Day 2

9:00       Recognizing and Support 

10:30     Break 

10:45     In groups of 3, reflect and discuss how you would address points R and S in your newsroom. 

11:30     Take your notes and translate into a first draft strategy eg Awareness, do editors need training to understand mental health?

12:00     Hannah/class feedback 

12:45     Next steps and course assessment.

13:00     Ends

Meet your faculty

Hannah Storm

Media Consultant, Founder/Co-Director

Hannah Storm is a media consultant, specialising in journalism safety, wellbeing and leadership. She is the Founder and Co-Director of Headlines Network, a community to improve mental health conversations in the news media. She is the former CEO and Director of the Ethical Journalism Network and served as Director of the International News Safety Institute. She began her career at Reuters, and has spent more than two decades working internationally across diverse forms of media, including broadcast, print and digital. Her book 'Mental Health and Wellbeing for Journalists: a Practical Guide' is published by Routledge in 2024.