Generation Next
Mental Health Reporting
for Journalists
Reporting on Mental Health
1 in 4 will have a
mental health issue
--National Institute of Mental Health
CC Photo: Jesse Vaughan
When do we talk about
mental health?
• Usually when there is a crisis, such as a
shooting or other violence, or when
someone has harmed or killed himself.
• FACT: People with mental illness are responsible
for no more than 5 percent of violent acts in
• FACT: People living with mental illness are more
often the victims, not perpetrators, of violence.
--National Institute of Mental Health
Stigma and discrimination
Difficulty renting an apartment
Discrimination in employment
Unfair treatment in education
Isolation from friends and family
Barriers to seeking help
Concern about loss of job or social standing
Lack of information
Cultural norms
Cultural considerations
• A number of population groups believe that
mental health issues are best dealt with
“among their own.”
• Gender roles and the words used to describe
a mental health challenge vary greatly.
• Religious and spiritual traditions vary
greatly; understand how they relate to
people’s coping mechanisms or views.
He goes psycho on the dance floor,
especially when his favorite song is
Some people would say that
Jackson is demented, but he
considers himself an avant-garde
artist who is on the cutting edge of
what’s new in multimedia.
The stock market was bipolar
today, starting with a loss of
300 points when the opening
bell rang but ending up 150
points higher.
His ex-wife said Smith goes
crazy when he finds out she
has a date with another man.
Chavez’s husband said she
goes loco when she drinks.
schizophrenic beers
News Stories
Yet Another Man Commits Suicide
By Jumping Off Golden Gate Bridge
SAN FRANCISCO—A 21-year-old suicide walked more
than a mile to leap to his death from the Golden Gate
Bridge on Friday morning because of an argument
with his ex-girlfriend. Jose Sanchez was pronounced
dead at the scene, said police department
spokeswoman Sheila Phillips. It was the fourth suicide
of the year from the bridge, a well-known site for
Police closed northbound traffic on the bridge for
90 minutes during rush hour while they investigated
Sanchez’s parents said their son was distraught
over his recent breakup with Eleanor Rodriguez, a
woman he met in a class at UC Berkeley. The two had
been dating for about 10 months when Rodriguez
broke off the relationship last week, according to
Maria Sanchez.
Mentally Ill Man, 22, Paroled
Following 2012 Meat-Cleaver
Attack on Local Female
LANCASTER — He was suffering from
schizophreniform, a precursor to schizophrenia, a local
psychiatrist said.
"He has absolutely no memory of what happened,"
defense lawyer Robert Beyer said at Monday's hearing.
Weida is to stay at LGH until he is deemed competent
for release and no longer a danger to himself or others.
He will then serve 5 years' probation. Weida was a
freshman at Shippensburg University when he started
to "lose a bit of control" mentally.
When should we talk about
mental health?
Whenever a budget is released.
In health stories, just about any health story.
In stories about substance abuse recovery.
Consider it when discussing the long-term
unemployed, losing a job, losing a loved one,
stress in student and veteran populations.
• First-person accounts.
Mental Health Resources
The following resources are available at:
About Mental Health
•TEAM Up (Tools for
Entertainment and Media)
For Journalists
•TEAM Up for Journalists
•Depiction Suggestions
•Each Mind Matters
•National Suicide Prevention
•Style Guide: Reporting on Mental
•First Person Accounts
•Active Minds
•Staunton Farm Foundation
•A New State of Mind: Ending the
Stigma of Mental Illness
•Directory of Mental Health
•Social Media Guidelines
•PRISM Awards
•SWPA Toolkits
For those with
mental illness,
stigma cuts
CBS News
Reporting on Mental Health
• Tell the complete story
• Remember that the person is not the
• Allow those with mental illness to be heard
• Seek out mental health experts
• Watch your language!
We encourage you to join Generation Next and be a part of
the “art of making a difference.”
Generation Next Features:
• Southwestern Pennsylvania Media & Mental
Health Mentoring Session with media experts
• Qualifying Productions aired on,
a global internet television network
• Curricular resources for faculty and students
• Distribution of Press Release and Special News
Story about student involvement to address
mental health concerns.
• Social Media push of qualifying productions
through EIC
Generation Next Journalism Campaign
Spring 2015
Application Deadline: March 31
Final Projects Deadline: April 7
Find us at:
for guidance on and highlights of mental health news

PowerPoint Presentation for Faculty