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Let’s talk about mental health in journalism

December 6, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Journalists: without much to be said, 2021 has been a year. Whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, criminal justice failures, political strife or environmental degradation — it’s been a seemingly endless list of issues that many have covered and all of us have been affected by in different ways.

So the Chicago Headline Club is doing a mental health check. Join us on Monday, December 6, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CT for a conversation about mental health in journalism hosted by the Better Government Association’s Olivia Obineme.

We want to make space for folks to listen in on how their peers are doing and share their questions or thoughts on navigating the trauma we encounter doing this work.

Our panelists include Adam Mahoney (Grist), Deborah Douglas (The Emancipator), Michael Romain (Austin Weekly News and Village Free Press), Jackie Serrato (South Side Weekly) and Pat Nabong (Chicago Sun-Times).

They will discuss what the intersection of trauma and journalism looks like for them, what methods they are taking to navigate their mental health needs and how newsrooms could better support staff and freelancers alike.

Send in your questions early (by registering on Eventbrite) or have your questions and comments ready during the event as there will be time for Q&A.

This free virtual event will be hosted on Zoom and posted to the Chicago Headline Club’s Facebook Page.

Sign up for a FREE ticket today!



Adam Mahoney, Environmental Justice & Investigations Reporter at Grist.

Twitter: @AdamLMahoney

Bio: Adam Mahoney is a environmental justice reporter on the investigations desk at Grist, a nonprofit magazine focused on climate and justice. His work has appeared in places such as the Guardian, Rolling Stone, and Mother Jones. Originally from Wilmington, California, he is a graduate of Northwestern University and current Rogers Park resident.

Panelist: Deborah Douglas, Author and Co-Editor-in-Chief at The Emancipator

Twitter: @debofficially

Bio: Deborah Douglas is co-editor in chief of The Emancipator, a collaboration between Boston University and The Boston Globe. She penned the first-ever travel guide following the official civil rights trail in the South, “U.S. Civil Rights Trail: A Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places, and Events That Made the Movement” (Moon Travel, 2021). Douglas also contributed a chapter to the New York Times best-selling “Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” (Random House, 2021) and “Chicago Exposed: Defining Moments From the Chicago Sun-Times Photo Archive” (CityFiles Press, 2021)

Panelist: Jackie Serrato, Editor-in-Chief at South Side Weekly

Twitter: @HechaEnChicago

Bio: Jackie Serrato is a “barrio journalist” and Editor-in-Chief of South Side Weekly newspaper. She got her start in journalism after launching a bilingual community page with more than 150,000 followers. She also manages Spanish translation at the Sun-Times. Her work has also appeared in Hoy/Tribune, WTTW, BlockClub, The Chicago Reporter, and WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter at @HechaEnChicago.

Panelist: Mike Romain

Twitter: @MichaelRomain

Bio: Michael Romain is publisher and editor of Village Free Press, a local newspaper that has grown from a WordPress blog he launched in 2013. He is also equity editor for Growing Community Media, a nonprofit that publishes four weekly newspapers in Chicago’s west suburbs and West Side, including Austin Weekly News, where he serves as editor.

Panelist: Pat Nabong

Twitter: @pat_nabong


Pat Nabong is a staff visual journalist at The Chicago Sun-Times. Before joining the Sun-Times, she worked as an independent visual journalist in the Philippines, where her father taught her how to use the camera to see the world in a new way. Her work has appeared in ProPublica, Belt Magazine, The Intercept, and Buzzfeed News, among others. She has been supported by fellowships with the International Women’s Media Foundation, the Pulitzer Center and City Bureau. She earned her master’s in journalism at Northwestern University.


December 6, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Chicago Headline Club