Headline, the national media monitoring programme for mental health and suicide has selected the Clare Champion as winner of the Headline Regional Newspaper of the Year Award 2013 for journalism relating to mental health or suicide prevention. Headline created the award in recognition of the vital role regional newspapers play in promoting positive mental health and stigma reduction in their local communities.
 
Jane Arigho of Headline said; “From Headline’s media analysis, the Clare Champion’s coverage was notable for its dedicated focus throughout the year on locally available programmes and support services and endeavouring to discuss the important issue of suicide while consistently providing further sources of help and information to readers.”
 
She continued; “With particular reference to the work of Dan Danaher, the newspaper provided an invaluable channel for real life experiences of mental health problems which will no doubt not only contribute to greater public understanding, but also encourage those experiencing difficulties to reach out and seek the help that they need.”
Media analysis conducted by Headline confirmed that a significant number of regional publications show a genuine commitment to responsible coverage of mental health issues. The Cork Independent and Kerry’s Eye were also shortlisted for the award.
Headline’s media analysis also highlighted how media coverage of mental health issues varies greatly between regions. Regional coverage of mental health issues continues to be strongest in quality and volume in Munster, followed by Leinster. Unfortunately, a small portion of regional publications still neglect to provide coverage of mental health issues to their readership.
Jane Arigho said “Media discussion of suicide and mental health is vital but there are still publications that are lagging behind best practice and failing to recognise that their content could be the difference between someone seeking help or continuing to suffer in silence or worse taking their lives.”
Headline works with journalists and media students to find ways to collaborate to ensure that mental health and suicide related issues are responsibly covered in the media.
A full list of the criteria for eligibility for the award is attached and available on www.headline.ie.

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