The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) and The Olive Prime Psychological Services(TOPS) Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Abuja to provide free mental health assessment and care for journalists as part of a broad journalism welfare campaign of the Centre.
The MOU, which was signed by Joshua Olufemi, Programme Director, PTCIJ and Opeyemi Atanda, Service Manager of TOPS, is one of the follow up action-oriented steps towards the holistic welfare of Nigerian Journalists after previous comprehensive trainings geared at helping journalists build resilience in the face of the weight of the demands of their work.
The PTCIJ said it is in recognition of the peculiarity of the journalist’s job and the effect it has on their psychosocial health that it sought partnership with TOPS to provide psychological support and counselling for journalists to ensure that their mental health is catered to.
PTCIJ disclosed that the agreement is a fruit of the advocacy for improved holistic welfare of journalists in Nigeria, an initiative which has its roots in the 2017 No News Is Bad News Programme organised by the Free Press Unlimited (FPU) organisation in collaboration with PTCIJ.
The workshop, the Centre said, birthed the Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF), a collaboration of investigative newsrooms and Civil Society Organisations working on Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom in Nigeria with support from FPU.
The Centre noted that journalists are as much susceptible to trauma as the people in their stories, and working in conditions that do not take cognisance of this makes them even more so, thus, the collaboration between PTCIJ under its ‘Journalism Welfare Matters’ project and TOPS is taking cognisance of this often ignored need and bringing the issue of the psychological welfare of journalists to the forefront.
Under this programme, journalists can access psych assessment, counselling services, therapy services, among others by reaching out to PTCIJ via email@example.com