Psychological support and advising

 (Afghan journalists often suffer emotional and psychosomatic problems resulting from traumatic incidents and stories they have covered. Psychosocial counselling is rarely available inside Afghanistan but AJSC is aiming to provide better services for the media community. AJSC has signed an MoU with a local psychosocial counsellor to provide counselling to journalists undergoing traumas. In addition, AJSC has partnered with the International Psychosocial Organization (IPSO) to establish a formal trauma and psychosocial support mechanism in order to facilitate the needs of affected journalists to receive improved psychosocial services. During the reporting period, AJSC provided Psychosocial Counselling to a total of 30 journalists including eight male and 22 female journalists in Kabul resulting in reducing the level of mental stress on journalists. Photo: Psychosocial Counselling in progress, AJSC HQ, Kabul Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) Progress Report | January 01 – December 31, 2019 19 Additionally, IMS/AJSC piloted the creation of a “Psychosocial peer-to-peer help system for Afghan journalists” in 2017 and has continued to develop this track. These helpers are trained to provide psychosocial first aid and stress management tools to fellow journalists and media workers in their provinces, the psychosocial peer-to-peer helpers carried out numerous one-to-one sessions with journalists and arranged group sessions to discuss stress and psychosocial symptoms which might occur on duty. The initiative has proven to be very beneficial and strengthened the program’s holistic approach to safety, by addressing the fact that psychosocial support is imperative for the well-being of local journalists, who are directly affected by the traumatic events happening around them. These needs also vary from context to context. Trauma affects the output of journalists: if they are traumatized they are more likely to self-censor, which can also have a negative effect on peacebuilding and impartial storytelling.)
The psychosocial counseling sessions contribute to reducing the level of stress, tensions and other physiological problems of all journalists especially female journalists and MWs, and also enabling them to raise their confidence and self-belief to conduct their journalistic work more professionally