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Welcome to the Mindframe for the mental health and suicide prevention sector pages, which provide a valuable resource to support communicating effectively with the media about suicide, mental health and mental illness.

The media has an important role to play in influencing social attitudes towards and perceptions of suicide and mental illness. Most Australian media professionals report suicide and mental illness responsibly.

This resource is part of a series of Mindframe resources for media and sectors that work with the media aiming to: inform of appropriate reporting of suicide and mental illness; minimise harm and copycat behaviour; and, reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental illness. Informed by the international evidence base, these resources were developed by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health with the assistance of media professionals, suicide and mental health sectors and consumer organisations.

 

Background

People involved in mental health are a key source of information for Australian media professionals reporting on suicide, mental health and mental illness.

Consultations carried out in 2005 indicated that a majority of mental health organisations, both government and non-government, were regularly approached by the media regarding stories on these issues. Many organisations also actively sought media coverage. This regular contact with the media provides an opportunity for those involved in mental health to support appropriate reporting of suicide, mental health and mental illness, which may in turn increase public understanding of these issues.

This website and accompanying print resource Suicide and Mental Illness in the Media: A Mindframe resource for the mental health sector, is designed to assist people involved in mental health to effectively communicate with the media about suicide, mental health and mental illness.

Mindframe aims to build the capacity of the mental health and suicide prevention sectors to promote sensitive and appropriate reporting by ensuring that they have:

  • Appropriate, sector-consistent guidance on providing information on suicide, mental health and mental illness to media professionals;
  • An understanding of the potential impact of media reporting of mental illness and suicide, based on research evidence;
  • An understanding of the different sectors of the media;
  • Strategies to maximise opportunities to represent mental illness and suicide appropriately in the media;
  • Strategies to respond to positive and negative reporting of suicide, mental health and mental illness.
  • Access to relevant reference material including:

- Key issues to consider when talking to the media about suicide or mental illness;

- Facts and statistics about mental illness and suicide;

- Contact details for sources of research and statistics;

- Contact details for helplines and services.

 

The website and print resources produced have been designed to meet the needs of a broad range of people involved in mental health working across a variety of government and non-government organisations as well as those with direct experience of mental health issues.

Some of the key activities undertaken by the Mindframe team to promote the resources include:

  • Delivery of face-to-face interactive workshops and presentations at conferences targeted to the mental health sector;
  • Delivery of individually tailored workshops and informal meetings for individual workplaces, organisations or networks who express interest.

 

Project Team

The Mindframe National Media Initiative is coordinated and managed by a project team at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health (HIMH), based in Newcastle NSW (Click here for further information on the project team at Mindframe)

 

 

Obtaining Resources

PDF copies of resources for the mental health and suicide prevention sector can be downloaded from the Downloads section of this website. Print copies of the Suicide and Mental Illness in the Media resources can be requested from:

MHS IconThe Mindframe Project Office
Tel: 02 4924 6904
Fax: 02 4924 6909
Email: mindframe@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au