The Asian American Journalists Association is committed to the whole well-being of our journalists  including mental wellness. Since 2020, journalists not only have to deal with the daily stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic that have affected all of U.S. society, they are also on the frontlines of coverage and providing information to the public, thus subject to higher risk of exposure. To compound these stressors, AAPI journalists uniquely face discrimination and racism resulting from early associations of the virus with China.

In this time of a surge in anti-Asian violence, our reporters are often also the ones covering hate incidents and anti-Asian violence, because they feel most responsible for doing so or are most equipped to do so. They have expressed the emotional toll of reporting to us directly and in the media. We aim to serve the unique needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists by

– Overcoming the stigma of mental health in AAPI culture;
– Growing mental health awareness among our members;
– Proving AAJA members with tangible takeaways for work and home life;
– Empowering AAJA members to actively engage in maintaining mental health and wellness during the pandemic and beyond.

Our Resources: AAJA Presents The Space 

The Space is a series of mental-health focused programming to help AAJA members cope with the challenges of being a journalist and a person of color.

Join fellow journalists and AAJA members in a facilitated, off-the-record conversation to share your feelings, experiences and thoughts. Journalists turned licensed therapists host this space so you can talk, listen, and just be with others who can relate to what you’re going through. They will also offer mental wellness tips and resources tailored to the conversations that emerge during these sessions.

Thanks to Panda Express for their support of The Space.

2022 Sessions 

ONLINE GRIEF AND HEALING SESSIONs WITH AAJA SEOUL

The past week has been a difficult one for everyone here in Seoul. The tragedy in Itaewon has left the country in shock and many members of our Seoul journalism community have worked tirelessly since Saturday night to tell the story of what happened and the lives tragically lost. 

To support our friends and colleagues who have been covering the Itaewon tragedy and its aftermath all week, AAJA Seoul is opening up a space for anyone who wants to talk about the stress, grief and other emotions they have experienced with a certified trauma specialist. The session is opened to all journalists in Seoul.

The sessions will be run by Jeanie Y. Chang, LMFT, CCTP. Chang is an AAPI mental health expert and a certified clinical trauma professional with experience in grief and trauma and has worked with AAJA on similar sessions in the past. Additionally, she has specialized training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

Sessions will be available via Zoom on Sunday, Nov. 6 and Monday, Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. KST / 7 a.m. EST and will be conducted in English. Please select which day works best for you in the Google Form below. 

To allow for a quality and helpful conversation for all, each session will be limited to 15 peopleThe sessions will be filled on a first come, first served basis. All conversations will be off the record and participants will be asked to keep the discussion confidential. 

Registration will remain open until Sunday (Nov. 6) at 5 p.m. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link an hour before the session. 

GRIEF AND HEALING FOR ASIAN AMERICAN WOMEN

Our Asian American community has been holding on to so much grief and loss. The murders of Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee have affected our sense of safety in our every day environments. What have you been holding on to that you want to release? What are ways to seek healing after experiencing loss and grief in our communities?

Additional grief and healing sessions have been added for The Space with clinician and speaker Jeanie Y. Chang, LMFT, CCTP, CIMHP next week. Join us in processing and navigating these overwhelming times for our communities. Each session will be capped at 25 participants. Participants must abide by the AAJA Code of Conduct.
 
Registration links below (please only sign up for one slot):
Saturday, February 26, 4-5 p.m. | REGISTER HERE
Sunday, February 27, 4-5 pm REGISTER HERE 
February 28, at 7-8 pm | REGISTER HERE 

2021 Sessions: Embrace Cultural Confidence Series

Has 2020 awakened new anxieties that you’d like to break down in 2021?
* Do you struggle with the Western idea of self-care?
* Do you wish you could meet a therapist who “gets” the pressure of journalism – and of identifying as AAPI – without having to explain everything?
* Are you seeking techniques to address the wellness of relationships in your family?
* Are you experiencing secondary trauma through work and social media?
* Do you want to become a resilient leader for your team and your community?

As AAPI journalists, we are living through a time when every day could become a battle at work and at home. So many of us are tired, exhausted, finding it hard to focus — but have to keep telling the stories that matter for our community. When you take care of yourself, you are more equipped to support your loved ones and accomplish things you’re passionate about.

The Asian American Journalists Association is partnering with Jeanie Chang, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a former broadcast journalist, to host a series of three solutions-based, culturally-competent mental-health workshops customized for our members. 

Each 2021 session was focused on a different topic, and was hosted by AAJA HQ, AAJA Women and Non-Binary Voices Affinity Group, AAJA At-Large Chapter and AAJA Plus Task Force.

January: Capitol Riots
March: Attack On AAPIs
April: Grief

Other Resources

AAJA’s mental health funding program is currently on pause – check back for more information in the future. 

Mental Wellness Resource List
This AAPI- and journalist-specific mental wellness resource list, created in February 2020, is composed of organizations, research, fact sheets, conferences, trainings and more.

AAPI Journalists Mental Health Fund
Founded by Sonia Weiser, the journalist who founded the Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund, this Fund will provide direct micro-gifts to AAPI journalists who have indicated a need for professional therapy services. AAJA will soon adopt the fund as a fiscal sponsor, and work with the founder to administer the Fund to AAPI journalists, including vetting applications, disbursing the micro-gifts, and associated administrative tasks. AAJA will not be receiving nor retaining any portion of the Fund. 100% of what is donated to The Fund will be disbursed.

Filling out this form is the first step to securing funding to pay for mental health services. Once you’ve completed this form, someone from AAJA will reach out to you to discuss next steps. Due to limited funding and resources, AAJA is prioritizing the most pressing cases and applicants who have identified a mental healthcare provider. Also, at this time, funding is only being given to journalists who are AAPI. Applying for funding does not guarantee you will be granted money. Fill out the form here.
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Mental Wellness Resources

A non-comprehensive list of mental wellness resources for AAPI and journalists, including research, training programs, and culturally competent coverage. Updated as of February 25, 2021. Mental Wellness Resources for AAPI

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