June 14, 2024

CJID, others to upskill journalists, and launch reporting toolkit on mental health

In its drive to build an informed media through capacity building, the Centre for
Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), in partnership with Mental Health KAFE and the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), is set to train media professionals, academicians, and researchers on mental health reporting.

The 2-day workshop, themed “Mental Health Reporting” is scheduled to be held on the 7th and 8th of August, 2023 at the state capital, Abuja. The workshop aims to address the pressing need for accurate and responsible reporting on mental health issues in Nigeria.

The organisers noted that the workshop will serve as a platform for media professionals, academicians, and researchers to enhance their understanding of mental health and
strengthen their capacity for effective and sensitive reporting. While speaking on the training, the Executive Director of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Tobi Oluwatola, noted that journalists play a vital role in raising awareness of mental health conditions and promoting understanding of mental health.

He said: “At CJID, our mission is to strengthen West Africa’s journalism sector to promote democratic accountability in the service of inclusive and sustainable development. By reporting on mental health issues in a responsible and accurate way, journalists can help to reduce stigma and encourage people with mental health conditions to seek treatment. This will in turn impact public health outcomes, as a crucial element of sustainable development.”

Also, Deborah Adenikinju, the Founder of Mental Health KAFE (MHKAFE), noted that in a society where stigma and misconceptions still shroud mental health, the need for accurate and compassionate reporting has never been more critical.

She said: “The media has a profound impact on shaping public perceptions, and through this toolkit, we aim to drive positive change in how mental health is portrayed and understood across Nigeria”.

About the workshop

The workshop, according to the organisers, could not have come at a better time because the media is crucial in covering mental health issues; therefore, reporting on mental health issues requires a nuanced understanding of the subject in order to ensure that mental health is reported by the media equitably, holistically, and ethically.

The mental health reporting workshop will feature the launch of a comprehensive mental health toolkit. This invaluable resource is designed to support media professionals in Nigeria in reporting on mental health in alignment with journalism standards and integrity. The toolkit with the accompanying workshop will provide media professionals, academicians and researchers in Nigeria with the necessary tools, resources, and guidance to report on mental health equitably, holistically, and ethically.

“This toolkit is a culmination of the collective efforts of passionate mental health professionals and esteemed media professionals, who recognize the vital role of the media in influencing attitudes toward mental health. With the expert guidance of the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), we have meticulously curated this resource to provide media professionals with the necessary tools to bridge the gap between mental health reporting, public understanding, and acceptance”, said Deborah Adenikinju.

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