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The importance of offering crisis information

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Issue: A metropolitan newspaper published an article on a high-profile sportsman’s mental health and his father’s suicide. Unfortunately, it was missing 24/7 helplines for readers that might find the content distressing or feel triggered.

Result: StigmaWatch reached out to the newspaper and offered constructive edits as well as face-to-face training with the Mindframe team. The 24/7 helplines were immediately added and the production team responded positively to the offer of training.

Why it mattered: Adding help-seeking information to reporting on mental illness and suicide provides options for crisis support to vulnerable people who may be adversely impacted by it. Mindframe’s guidelines recommend that at least two 24-hour crisis numbers are added to any story about suicide or attempted suicide. If the story is online, journalists can link directly to online support options. The helpline or service should ideally be matched to the story and take into account the age, gender, background and location of media consumers.