Resources – Mental Health in the Newsroom
Following the Society of Editors’ conference panel discussion on Mental Health in the Newsroom in November 2o20, the SoE felt it would be helpful to provide a list of common resources that journalists can turn to – whether it is seeking personal help or for professional guidance on covering a news story relating to mental health.
The resources are not aimed to be exhaustive but a starting point for those interested in beginning a conversation or looking for advice.
Organisations and networks that can offer support for journalists
The Journalists’ Charity provides confidential advice, financial assistance and emergency support. Since March 2020, the charity has helped hundreds of individuals affected by the impact of Coronavirus. In several cases, it has prevented journalists and their families from being made homeless.
The Reuters Mental Health and Resilience Resource
Reuters’ resource centre provides journalists with access to information and guidance on: stress and burnout; trauma, vicarious trauma & PTSD; Covid-19; digital overload; mental illness; sexual harassment; online harassment.
A network launched by the CEO of the Ethical Journalism Network, Hannah Storm, for those who care about improving mental wellbeing in the media. The network is a safe space to share experiences and explore solutions and hosts a Behind the Headlines podcast and training around mental health. View the Headline Network’s guide on how to recognise vicarious trauma in the newsroom here.
Supporting employees and freelancers
The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma has produced advice on Leading Resilience: A Guide for Editors and News Managers on Working with Freelancers Exposed to Trauma.
Tips for working from home
For mental health awareness week in 2020, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) put together a resource pack for journalists working from home.
Good reporting practices
Mind: guidance on reporting on mental health
The Time to Change programme led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness has produced media guidance aimed at using the media to raise awareness, challenge attitudes and dispel myths around mental illness.
Mind has also developed a booklet on avoiding creating stigmas when reporting on violence and mental health.
Samaritans offer media guidelines and online resources to assist journalists who are reporting suicide. This includes: reporting guidelines; facts; top tips; guidance for reporting on inquests and the relevant sections of the codes of practice from Ofcom and IPSO.
The Samaritans has also recently launched a new e-learning programme developed for journalists and programme-makers covering suicide and self-harm in the media.
Beat has developed guidance on reporting eating disorders to encourage responsible and balanced reporting. The charity’s press office also receives daily enquiries from journalists and broadcasters concerned about how to depict eating disorders, what images to use, and how best to interview people affected and their families.
Resources for journalists seeking personal help
Elemental Health Ltd have created information and graphics that may be of use and the Society of Editors is happy to include here.
OK Rehab specialises in local drug and alcohol rehab and addiction treatment. This treatment is available via both inpatient and outpatient treatment providers. We also work with clinics that are able to facilitate treatment taking place in your own home, who are able to provide professional intervention and home detoxification.
At OK Rehab, our aim is to help individuals break free from the shackles of addiction and find a treatment that’s ideally suited to their needs. This treatment is applicable for drug addiction, alcoholism and process/behavioural addictions.
Many of the treatments we may recommend taking place at residential rehab clinics. We have partnered with over 140 clinics of this nature across the UK and abroad. These clinics offer standalone detoxification services, or alternatively, you may combine detox with an extended rehabilitation.
Each member of our team is “in recovery” themselves. This means we are uniquely positioned in understanding what you or your loved one are currently going through. At OK Rehab, we do not abide by the common misconceptions, stigmas and beliefs that often surround addiction by the public. Instead, we align with the disease model of addiction.
We believe that with determination, hard work and the benefit of evidence-based treatments, many can overcome addiction and live a fruitful life in recovery. Whilst it is true that not everybody will succeed, the treatments we recommend are aligned with accepted scientific consensus, and thus offer you or your loved one the best possible chance of defeating addiction.
If you are interested in exploring mental health reporting academically, the following institutions have led research.
The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, Columbia University Journalism School
The organisation is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. The Dart Center provides journalists around the world with journalistic resources from its network of news professionals, mental health experts, educators and researchers. Its website provides articles, expert interviews, journalist-to-journalist advice, tipsheets and other resources.
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Recent research by the Oxford University-based institute includes a report on the emotional demands and impact on journalists covering the coronavirus pandemic.