The Australian media often use their voice to push positive messages regarding mental health and suicide prevention.
During Mental Health Week 2018, an Australian journalist wrote an article discussing the issue of male suicide rates in Australia. The article explored the stigma and self-stigma faced by men living with mental health issues. The article looked in depth into why men don’t seek help when they need it. The journalist interviewed Jack Heath, CEO of SANE Australia and Gus Worland from Gotcha4Life co-founder, for the story, which added expert commentary to a very complex issue.
Result: We welcome and encourage journalists and media outlets to cover stories related to mental illness and suicide. When reported responsibly and sensitively, it can challenge public misconceptions and myths and increase community awareness and encourage discussion and prevention activities.
Why it mattered? Media play an important role in reporting about the broader issue of suicide, which includes analysis of policy, practice, research, rates and trends, and other areas of public interest. Proactive, responsible and accurate reporting of mental illness and suicide by Australian journalists is a crucial component in working towards reducing stigma. From a long-term perspective, we hope that articles such as this one, contribute to a reduction in suicide rates.