Headlines Network launches mental health resources for journalists

Posted on: April 12, 2022 by Claire Meadows

Headlines Network has launched a suite of resources for journalists in an industry-first initiative with Mind, a leading mental health charity in England and Wales.

The multimedia project, which is supported by the Google News Initiative and launched at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia last week,  will provide practical advice for journalists and media professionals to manage their own mental health and to support colleagues.  

The first two guides – Managing Our Mental Health and Supporting Our Colleagues can be accessed on the website of Mind and Headlines Network.

The toolkits consist of an illustrative written guide supported with animated videos in which journalism colleagues share perspectives, tips and insights. The first two resource pillars will be followed during 2022 with further help on specific issues around journalist wellbeing. 

‘This is an unprecedented step towards offering cross-industry support at a time when many in the news media are experiencing significant pressures to their wellbeing,’ said Headlines Network’s Hannah Storm and John Crowley. 

‘Being able to work with Mind, sharing our expertise and theirs, means we can create resources that will support our colleagues and help them feel less isolated.’ 

This is the first industry-wide initiative to deliver wellbeing resources and training specifically to journalists that Mind has collaborated on

‘Mind is delighted to be working with the Headlines Network to help improve awareness and tackle mental health stigma in the media industry,’ said Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind.

‘There are many factors that can contribute to poor mental health among journalists, including long and anti-social working hours, tight deadlines, excessive workload and exposure to traumatic events. The tough culture that often pervades this sector means poor mental health has often been viewed as a weakness. As a result, despite the high prevalence of mental health problems among journalists, many are worried about asking for the support they need. We’re determined to help change that.

‘Together we have developed new resources to encourage open conversations and create a more supportive culture around mental health in journalism.’

Matt Cooke, Head of Google News Lab, part of the Google News Initiative, said: ‘While navigating the uncertainty of the last two years, journalists have encountered unprecedented challenges as they seek to provide audiences with accurate information about the world around them. 

‘The unique challenges faced by journalists require a specific approach – a safe space for journalists to discuss mental health, their wellbeing and to share best practices. We’re supporting the Headlines Network to create new efforts which we hope will enable cross-industry discussions, boost expert support and provide real impact.’

Headlines Network was founded in 2021 to improve conversations around mental health across the news industry. Last year it ran a series of pilot workshops for 130 journalists, hosting sessions with newsroom leaders and on-the-ground freelancers. Colleagues on the programme said they urgently needed more practical tips to support their mental health.