Guidelines on media reporting of severe mental illness in the context of violence and crime
The media is a key source of information about mental illness for the public, and research shows media coverage can influence public attitudes and perceptions of mental ill-health. But when it comes to complex mental illnesses such as psychosis and schizophrenia, media coverage tends to emphasise negative aspects, often choosing to focus on portrayals of violence, unpredictability and danger to others.
The new guidelines, released by Mindframe, a program that supports safe media reporting of mental health as part of the Australian government’s national suicide prevention program, offers advice to the media about the most responsible way to report on issues related to mental health, violence and crime.
This new resource empowers safe and responsible reporting on the issues of mental illness in the context of violence and crime, which seeks to minimise stigma and promote help-seeking behaviour. Informed by research and expertise from a panel of media and mental health professionals as well as consumer advocates, the guidelines seek to set a standard on best-practice reporting on the issues of mental illness in the context of violence and crime.