May 24, 2012

             

KITTY HOLLAND

The volume of positive coverage given to suicide and mental health issues in the print media has increased in the past year, according to a new survey.

The Headline study, which assessed 20,600 Irish articles related to mental health and suicide in 2011, found 1,164 were “positive in quality”, representing an increase of 47 per cent on 2010, when 787 articles were positive.

Headline is a national media monitoring programme, working to promote “responsible and accurate” reporting on mental health and suicide issues.

The top three publications for responsible reporting were the Irish Examiner, the Irish Daily Mail and The Irish Times.

Jane Arigho, media project co-ordinator at Headline, said there were still publications “lagging behind on best practice” and she identified certain daily tabloids as among the worst offenders.

She said they failed to recognise that their content could mean the difference between “someone seeking help, continuing to suffer in silence – or, worse, taking their lives”.

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