How do we get there?
To reduce the media’s effect of suicide contagion in Ireland
To reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health difficulties
To improve representations of mental health challenges in the media
To improve Irish audiences’ understanding of mental health difficulties
How do we get there?
We support Irish media in their work of covering difficult, and sometimes traumatic content
We provide training and educational supports to the next generation of media professionals through university lectures and workshops
We build an evidence base through monitoring, data gathering, and research for the improvement of mental illness representations in Irish media
We facilitate the public in addressing cases of irresponsible or harmful reporting
We work collaboratively. We are adaptive to change. We value innovation.
We are guided by evidence. We act with integrity.
We work collaboratively.
We are adaptive to change.
We value innovation.
We are guided by evidence.
We act with integrity.
According to the World Health Organization, research over the last 30 years has convincingly demonstrated that the mass media are one of the most significant influences on belief systems. Consequently, people often form their attitudes about mental health difficulties and suicidal behaviour though the television programmes, radio programmes, news reports, and films they see. The media have a significant role to play in reducing the number of unnecessary deaths caused by suicide contagion, and actively reducing stigma towards people with mental health difficulties.
Our objective is to work as collaboratively as possible with Irish media professionals, across print, broadcast and online platforms, to reduce the effects of suicide contagion, and the stigma attached to mental ill health. We’re committed to identifying challenges faced by journalists and producers when confronted with this content, and aim to provide useful resources and workable solutions.
What We Did
The programme was set up in 2007 by Ireland’s National Office for Suicide Prevention. The original aim of the programme was to increase awareness of suicide reporting guidelines for the media, as set out by the World Health Organisation, and The Samaritans.
Between 2007-2017, Headline monitored 100,000s of articles on suicide, self-harm, and mental ill health content, and consequently flagged and addressed content considered potentially harmful to vulnerable audiences. Headline also delivered presentations and workshops across Ireland, liaised with journalists on difficult stories, and worked to increase awareness of and fidelity to those guidelines.
After a decade, and a thorough external review, data shows that in general, Irish media adhere to guidelines, but significant challenges remain.
What We Do Now
We monitor 100s of articles every day that cover suicide and mental health difficulties. We monitor trends online for potentially harmful content and encourage editors and other media professionals to consider their audiences. We also look for mental health content that covers important issues, and encourages audiences to engage with challenging themes. Headline also facilitates members of the public in addressing instances of irresponsible or harmful reporting.
Headline offers training and educational supports to the next generation of media professionals through simulations of real workplace challenges and tough decision making in the field. We also provide in-house training to newsrooms by request.
Headline provides information and resources for media professionals to assist them in their reporting. Headline.ie hosts easily accessible factsheets, up to date guidelines, and links to experts in mental health difficulties. We also aim to offer support to journalists covering difficult, and sometimes traumatic content.
Working with leading centres of excellence, we’re identifying challenges to responsible reporting, and looking for possible solutions. We’re committed to using an evidence-based approach that informs our policies and programmes. Headline.ie also hosts the latest media and mental health research from around the world.
Headline is Ireland’s national programme for responsible reporting, and representation of mental illness and suicide. Our objective is to work as collaboratively as possible with Irish media professionals across print, broadcast, and online platforms to reduce the effects of suicide contagion, and the stigma attached to mental ill health.