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Trauma-informed journalism initiative launched to reduce suicide rate, protect survivors of violence

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A trauma-informed journalism programme has been officially launched to further equip journalists with skills on sensitive reporting of suicide and violence cases.

The initiative tagged– RAI was organized by Child Solidarity Group (CSG) and Idimma Health Initiative with the support of the US Consulate.

In his remark at the inauguration event held at Vibranium Valley in Lagos, CEO of Child Solidarity Group, Emediong Akpabio noted that the programme was introduced to explore the intersection between the media and mental health.

According to him, the RAI programme was developed to curb suicide and protect survivors of violence through partnership with journalists.

Akpabio explained that the clusters embedded in the programme have been extended to cover Trafficking in Persons, Suicide and Gender-Based Violence.

“We are launching the RAI, meaning life in Hausa as a trauma-informed journalism programme to explore the intersection of media and mental health to protect survivors of violence.

“To achieve this, we are working on four main clusters: suicide, trafficking in persons, child abuse and gender based violence.

“With this programme, we would be able to support the role of media in mitigating negative outcomes of sensational reportage and at the same time amplify the force of advocacy against some harmful practices.

“The RAI programme now allows us to expand our scope in terms of training and reach, while also being able to support journalists working on these kind of issues broadly,” the child rights activist stated.

Akpabio commended the media practitioners present for their passion and commitment to the advancement of safe reporting, calling for their continuous support for the project.

During his presentation, Damilola Olaoye, a Policy Analyst, decried the spate of suicide and violence in the society, emphasizing the need for journalists to be sensitive while reporting such cases to avoid copycat and stigmatization.

Olaoye highlighted the expected outcome of the initiative as— reduction in the rate of suicide attributed to copycat suicide due to inappropriate media reportage; reduction in re-traumatization of victims of violence due to media reportage; improvement in child safeguarding by media practitioners in reporting violence affecting children and provision of self-care tools and skills to media practitioners in managing secondary trauma.

He urged the participants to come up with strategies for the effectiveness of the project and enhance ethical standards while carrying out their journalistic activities.

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