Kenya: Providing Psychosocial Support for Journalists

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ARTICLE 19

28 Apr 2015

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Earlier this month 148 people were killed, and more than 80 injured, at the Garissa University College in Eastern Kenya, by Al Shabaab gunmen. The attack was the second deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya since the 1998 United States embassy bombing.

As part of ARTICLE 19’s holistic protection strategy, our office in Kenya provided counselling for 20 of the journalists who covered the attacks. Our counselling aims to assist journalists to deal with the trauma they experience due to the nature of their work.

 “The Garissa attacks exposed the journalists to the crime scenes and the psychological impact if overlooked, can lead to post-traumatic stress. That is why we thought it was necessary to assist the journalists in getting psychosocial support,” said Henry Maina ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa Director.

The counselling is determined by the levels of stress that a person is diagnosed with and combines physical, digital and psychosocial support as part of the protection. It also aims to educate the journalists to identify symptoms, manage them and monitor ongoing symptoms and where necessary, know when to seek professional support. 

We conducted the counselling in partnership with the Media Council of Kenya and Kenya Correspondents Association. 12 journalists worked for Media Max Network and 8 from The Standard group.

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