MAB Offers Free Mental Health Support for Journalists and other Broadcasters: Four-Part Series

Journalists are the eyes and ears of their communities covering some of the most important stories and topics every day. From a once-in-a-generation pandemic, to protests, school shootings, and life change policy, reporters get a first-hand view of history.


But, that can be challenging and weigh heavy on a journalist, mentally.


To provide a level of support, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) is offering a four-part series on mental health support to journalists and all broadcasters from across the state.


The FREE program consists of four, structured sessions that will include psychoeducation about the impact trauma and acute stress has on individuals. Each program will include “tools” for helping journalists and broadcasters cope with and reduce the impact their job-related experiences have upon their mental health and well‐being.


MHAM will provide Michigan broadcasters with psychoeducation and virtual support groups designed to assist and support its membership in developing healthy ways to cope with the stress and secondary trauma inherent in the field of journalism. Journalism is a profession that includes exposure to traumatic events, including chronic, and sometimes acute, stressors resulting from reporting on these events.


About the Instructor 

Marianne Huff, LMSW, is President and CEO of Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM). Marianne has more than 20 years of leadership experience, including 12 years of executive-level staff leadership and advocacy within the behavioral health field. Marianne has a passion for improving the lives of people affected by mental health conditions and their families and is an advocate for changes in public policy and legislation that will positively impact the care and treatment of persons with mental illnesses.

Prior to her leadership roles at MHAM, Marianne served as the Executive Director of Allegan County Community Mental Health Services for six years and as the Director of Advocacy for the Ability Center of Greater Toledo in Sylvania, Ohio. Additionally, as an Advocate at the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Marianne helped individuals and families access mental health services. Marianne uses her personal lived experience to optimistically and passionately lead, advocate and educate to improve the lives of those who struggle with behavioral health challenges and eliminate barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness.

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The Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) is a 501©(3) non-profit that provides advocacy at the state and local level with and on behalf of individuals with addictions and mental health conditions.  MHAM is not a provider of mental health services and is engaging in psychoeducation about trauma and how individuals who experience acute stressors and traumatic events can use techniques to more effectively cope with the stressful experience.   The events/groups are not intended to provide traditional group therapy to participants and are not intended to replace mental health treatment.


Although the intention of the groups and sessions is to be beneficial, some participants may experience some side effects including sadness, grief, anger or fear.  If a participant finds they are experiencing an overwhelming amount of these feelings, it is recommended the participant consider whether or not attending the sessions is helpful.


The groups consist of psychoeducation and informal group support.  Participants can remain anonymous during the sessions.  Participants’ comments and sharing will be kept strictly confidential by MHAM and its facilitator, Marianne Huff, LMSW, President and CEO of MHAM.  The groups are a partnership between the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and MHAM.  MAB will facilitate registration for the sessions and MHAM will not have access to the registration list.  MHAM will, however, request a copy of the participant informed consent form. The forms will kept in accordance with appropriate healthcare standards, including HIPPA.


Participants must be aware that discussing trauma, its affect on the human psychology and body and its impact on the work of a journalist, might be triggering for some individuals who have a previous trauma history or who are experiencing a mental health condition.  Participants will take full responsibility for letting MAB or MHAM know if participating in a session is causing distress.  Participants are not required to remain during the entire session, but we do ask, if you are experiencing a reaction to the topics being discussed, you reach out to the facilitator or
to MAB. 


The facilitator, Marianne Huff, is a fully licensed Master Lever Social Worker with a clinical license in the state of Michigan.  Ms. Huff is the facilitator of the groups and will provide the psychoeducation and will be available for 1:1 consultation if an individual who is participating in a group is experiencing stress due to a traumatic event or if a participant is triggered during the group presentation.  Ms. Huff will provide additional resources to individuals who are experiencing an acute stress reaction that may include referral to the appropriate mental health care provider.  Ms. Huff will follow the NASW Code of Ethics and will follow all appropriate protocols within her scope of practice as a social worker. Her license number is:  6801086051. 


I have read the full disclosure and understand the Mental Health Association in Michigan is not a provider of mental health services.  I understand, however, the group sessions are being facilitated by a fully licensed mental health professional. I understand the sessions are intended to be informational and supportive and are not a replacement for traditional mental health treatment.  I understand it is my responsibility to inform either the facilitator or the MAB if I am experiencing an acute stress reaction or if I am triggered by a session’s content or by the discussion. I have the contact information for Ms. Huff who will assist me by evaluating the information I have provided and by referring me to an appropriate mental health professional for evaluation and treatment, if necessary.


I understand although MHAM is not a healthcare entity, the information I share during the sessions is confidential and will not be disclosed to any other parties without my permission or consent. The only time confidentiality is not honored is if I state I intend to harm myself or someone else. In the unlikely event I were to report I feel I could harm myself or someone else, I understand my right to confidentiality is waived and all that can be done to maintain my privacy will be done in accordance with prevailing state and federal laws and the NASW Code
of Ethics.


I understand I have the right to participate anonymously at these sessions and I am not under any obligation to remain as a participant. 


I also understand I can ask questions of the facilitator or of the MAB at any time I need clarification or if I need additional information.