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The Australian Government’s Mindframe National Media Initiative (Mindframe) aims to encourage responsible, accurate and sensitive representation of mental illness and suicide in the Australian mass media. The initiative involves building a collaborative relationship with the media and other sectors that influence the media (such as key sources for news stories).

Funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health under the National Suicide Prevention Program, the Mindframe Education and Training program is an initiative of Everymind. Program activities include national leadership, resource development and national dissemination, and ongoing contribution to the evidence base in this area.


Program Objectives:

  • To build a collaborative relationship with the Australian news media (print, radio, television, and online news) through the development and dissemination of evidence-based resources and sector engagement to enable a more accurate and sensitive portrayal of suicide and mental illness;
  • To influence tertiary curriculum so that graduates in journalism and public relations will be aware of and able to respond to issues relating to suicide and mental illness;
  • To support sectors that work with the media (such as the mental health sector, the suicide prevention sector and the police) to facilitate better understanding about issues to consider when working with the media around mental illness and suicide;
  • To provide practical advice and information to support the work of scriptwriters and others involved in the development of Australian film, television and theatre, to help inform truthful and authentic portrayals of mental illness and suicide.

 

Target Sectors:


Media LogoNews Media - This includes peak media bodies, media organisations (including print, radio, television and online news across metropolitan and rural areas and including Indigenous and CALD media) and media professionals developing stories about suicide and mental illness.


MHS LogoMental Health and Suicide Prevention Sector - This includes health, mental health, and suicide prevention organisations, services and professional bodies (government and non-government) and individual professionals within those organisations that may have a role in media portrayal of mental illness and suicide.


PR & Journalism LogoUniversities - This includes universities (including lecturers and students) that offer relevant programs in journalism and public relations.

 


Stage & Screen LogoAustralian Film, Television and Theatre - This includes scriptwriters, story departments, filmmakers and other key stakeholders involved in the development of Australian film and television.
 


Police LogoPolice - This includes jurisdictions in all states and territories and relevant officers within those sectors that may have a role in media portrayal of suicide and mental illness.
 


Four key priorities were identified for 2013 – 2015. These priorities will ensure that the Mindframe program works to build sector engagement with and ownership of the Mindframe program. It will also ensure commitment to strategic approaches for increasing capacity and sustainability across target groups. These four priorities are:

  • Priority 1: Resource redevelopment 
  • Priority 2: Education and training
  • Priority 3: Strategic engagement
  • Priority 4: Evidence and evaluation

 

Programs also funded under the Mindframe Initiative:

 

The SANE Media Centre


Managed by SANE Australia, with funding under the National Suicide Prevention Program, the SANE Media Centre:

  • Advises media professionals as they prepare stories on mental illness and suicide;
  • Supports the mental health and suicide prevention sector in preparing their work with the media;
  • Runs the StigmaWatch program, which voices community feedback about how the media reports on these sensitive issues.

Through StigmaWatch media professionals are:

  • Informed of the Mindframe principles;
  • Provided with feedback when a report stigmatises mental illness or inadvertently promotes self-harm or suicide;
  • Contacted when a ‘good news’ report has been submitted, to encourage similar reporting in future.

For more information visit www.sane.org

 

Media Monitoring project


Two large-scale media monitoring projects in Australia have provided information about the way Australian news media report suicide and mental illness.  Both Media Monitoring studies were conducted by the University of Melbourne and the University of Canberra.