Department of Journalism & Mass Communication Press Release

The Competence and Trauma Center for Journalists (CTCJ) University of Peshawar is committed to extend the free of cost services of psycho counseling to the journalists’ community across the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) in the next phase too , while another center of the same nature will also be established in Baluchistan in the near future. This was revealed in an Open Discussion Forum (ODF) held in connection with the initiation of the 2nd phase of  project, at the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication (JMC), University of Peshawar here Tuesday, said a Press Release.

The ODF was jointly chaired by Prof Dr. Altaf Ullah Khan Chairman JMC and Prof Dr. Erum Irshad, Chairperson Department of Psychology, which was attended by large number of journalists from FATA and Peshawar. Nisar Mehmood, President Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) was also present on the occasion. The participants of the forum were informed that 18 journalists, who were severely traumatized due to working in a conflict hit areas, have successfully been treated at the CTCJ and many others have approached for availing the same facility in the next phase. Some of the journalists have also shared their experiences and requested their colleagues not to feel hesitant in visiting the center. The complete treatment needs 8 to 12 sessions, while extreme confidentiality of them is ensured with professional ethics, the press release while quoting the councilors, added.

CTCJ is providing all out support to the journalists who are working in a traumatic conditions, enabling them to coup with the psychological challenges, they are confronted with and live a normal and healthy life, the press release further explained. The forum urged upon the media men and owners of media organizations to own this center as its acceptance on their part will make it a real success.  The journalists were informed that five different brochures with the assistance of DART Center will be established within next couple of months, which will help the CTCJ in spreading awareness amongst the journalists’ community for this noble cause.

Nisar Mehmood, President KhUJ while appreciating the establishment of CTCJ has said, it was the responsibility of media organizations to establish such centers for the psychological treatment of their workers, but unfortunately they did not pay any attention to this issue of enormous importance. He thanked the University of Peshawar for establishing the center, and assured his utmost support on behalf of KhUJ and Peshawar Press Club for the successful functioning of the CTCJ.

Dr. Altaf Khan while further elaborating on the aims and objectives of the Center said that it was a need of the hour to work for the psychotherapy of those journalists who are suffering from the psychological trauma while covering incidents like drone attacks, bomb-blasts and other catastrophes in this region since long. Reporting from the war zones has affected their lives both bodily and psychologically, but unfortunately no attention has been given to this problem in the past, he supplemented.

The participating journalists while welcoming the establishment of Trauma and Competence Center assured their utmost cooperation and assistance for its smooth functioning. They commended the efforts made by the University of Peshawar for considering media persons as an important component of the society, and taking such initiatives of establishing a Center, is recognition to their services and sacrifices, they accepted.

Earlier Dr. Erum explained the psychological trauma, its causes and possible preventive measures for dealing with the issue.  This discussion was part of the activities that University of Peshawar is jointly organizing with the journalists’ community for smooth functioning of the center, established at the departments of JMC and psychology, with the support of DW Academie, Germany, the press release concluded.