Headline, the national media monitoring programme for mental health and suicide has selected the Connaught Telegraph  as winner of the Headline Regional Newspaper of the Year Award 2012 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 in their local communities.
Jane Arigho of Headline said;
“The Connaught Telegraph’s dedicated and consistently responsible coverage of suicide and mental health issues will not only contribute to greater public understanding, but also encourage those experiencing difficulties to reach out and seek the help that they need.”
“The Connaught Telegraph demonstrated considerable editorial leadership in raising the issue of suicide, championing the power of talking and promoting discussion of suicide in media as well as in the local community.”
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 Clare Champion were shortlisted for the award while the Avondhu and Northern Standard received honorable mentions.
Headline’s media analysis also highlighted how media coverage of mental health issues varies greatly between regions. Regional coverage of mental health issues was strongest in quality and volume in Munster, followed by Leinster. In Connaught, the Connaught Telegraph produced more than 3 times as many positive pieces on mental health than that of its regional counterparts. Unfortunately, a small portion of regional publications still neglect to provide coverage of mental health issues to their readership.