Tuesday 21 February 2017

Irish Independent announced winner of Headline award for responsible coverage of mental health

Published 14/10/2016 | 13:09

Stephen Rae, Editor In Chief INM pictured with Jane Arigho, Project Coordinator of Headline. Photo: Gerry Mooney.
Stephen Rae, Editor In Chief INM pictured with Jane Arigho, Project Coordinator of Headline. Photo: Gerry Mooney.

The Irish Independent has been named as winner of the Headline 2016 Overall Award and the Headline Voice Media Award for its responsible coverage of mental health and suicide related issues.

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The Headline 2016 Overall Award was awarded to the newspaper for positive media coverage of mental health an suicide related issues.

The second award, from Headline Voice Media in conjunction with See Change, was given to the Irish Independent for its "excellent quality and quantity of media coverage given to people with self-experience".

Jane Arigho, Media Project Co-Ordinator with Headline, praised the newspaper before adding that the media has an important role to play in how the public perceive mental health and suicide related issues.

"Media discussion of mental health and suicide related issues is vital. Research has shown that the media has a significant influence on how the public think about suicide and mental health problems.

"I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Irish Independent for their excellent work. Almost 10 per cent of all positive coverage of mental health and suicide related issues recorded by Headline last year was produced by the Irish Independent.

"Positive coverage of mental health and suicide encourages help seeking behaviour and helps to remove the stigmas and myths that surround these issues," she said.

Headline works with journalists and media to ensure that mental health and suicide related issues are responsibly covered in the media, while See Change is the national stigma reduction partnership.

Upon receiving the prestigious awards, Editor-in-Chief at Independent News & Media Stephen Rae said: "Media has a duty to reflect the major mental health issues faced by Irish society.

"For too long government, the health authorities and indeed the media were too willing to sweep mental health challenges under the carpet.

"We take promoting mental wellbeing and advocating for better services for those suffering with psychiatric illnesses very seriously. Our most recent campaign across INM titles advocated treating mental health issues just as seriously as physical illness.

"We are very grateful that our campaigns and journalism around these important issues have been acknowledged by Headline," he said.

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