Training for safe mental health reporting

Nathan from The Black Dog Institute, Bec and Alex from Mindframe, and Maja and Seryn from LifeSpan Murrumbidgee.

Nathan from The Black Dog Institute, Bec and Alex from Mindframe, and Maja and Seryn from LifeSpan Murrumbidgee.

LifeSpan Murrumbidgee and Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) today hosted training to encourage responsible, accurate and sensitive representation of mental illness and suicide in the public arena.

MPHN CEO Melissa Neal said providing evidence-based training and guidance to communicate safely about suicide can assist to increase help-seeking behaviour and reduce the impact of stigma.

“In partnership with LifeSpan, we are pleased to bring the Australian Government’s Mindframe National Media Initiative to our region to help reduce risk and harm to vulnerable members of our communities.

“The Mindframe Plus program has been designed to support the work of Lifespan by providing training to local mental health spokespeople, first responders, communications personnel, social media writers, and people who talk about suicide and suicide prevention,” Ms Neal said.

“We know responsible reporting in the media can reduce suicide rates and in providing safe, quality media coverage, improve awareness and help seeking. This training helps LifeSpan sites and communities manage that conversation with local media outlets,” Dr Fiona Shand, Research Director of LifeSpan at The Black Dog Institute said.

The Mindframe Plus training was delivered to various representatives of local organisations including: Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Wellways Australia, Headspace, Intereach, Wagga Family Support Service, Riverina Police District, Department of Education, ACON, members from regional Local Health Advisory Committees, Wagga Wagga City Council, Leeton Shire Council, Narrandera Shire Council, Temora Shire Council and Lockhart Shire Council.

During this week Mindframe media training will be provided in-person to media outlets and journalists in our region including Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Leeton and Albury; providing support to perform safe media reporting, portrayal and communication about suicide, mental ill-health, alcohol and other drugs, Ms Neal said.

Anyone who is experiencing a mental health emergency (themselves or others) should call Murrumbidgee’s Accessline 1800 800 944, Lifeline 13 11 14 or call 000.

Debbie Angel