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Senior Contributor

Service Spotlight //SANE StigmaWatch// 12 Jun – 15 Jun


 Hi everyone and welcome to Service Spotlight!


This feature highlights a member of staff here at SANE Australia and the program they run. You will see this feature come up every few months.


This will be set up as a Q&A giving members the opportunity to ask any questions about a program featured and respond to a question that is put out to the community by the program lead.


Below you will see a few interview questions to give you a bit of information and background on the particular program.


You can post your question at any time and answers will be provided between Tuesday and Friday next week 


To kick off this new feature we have  @EllenFromSANE - I’ll let her introduce herself!


Who you are and what your role at SANE Australia is:


I’m Ellen and I work on SANE Australia’s StigmaWatch program. I work with media professionals to promote the responsible reporting of mental illness and suicide in the Australian media.


A bit about your program:


Mental illness and suicide are important issues for media to cover. When media report the issues responsibly, coverage can help reduce stigma surrounding mental illness and raise awareness of suicide prevention activities. However, research shows when mental illness and suicide are reported irresponsibly, media stories can do harm.


If you find media coverage that stigmatises mental illness or irresponsibly reports suicide, you can report the item to StigmaWatch.


Anyone can report a media item to StigmaWatch and if the coverage is found to breach Mindframe media reporting guidelines, StigmaWatch will contact the media outlet involved with constructive feedback and advice.


What’s coming up for your program:


We’re looking to grow our StigmaWatch community. Sign up to SANE’s StigmaWatch program to join thousands of others helping reduce stigma in the media.


A question you have for the community:


How well do you think the Australian media cover mental illness and suicide?


Re: Service Spotlight //SANE StigmaWatch// 12 Jun – 15 Jun

Thanks for sharing a bit about the Stigma Watch program @EllenFromSANE. Responsible media reporting is particularly important in an age of social media where misinformation and unhelpful content can spread quite quickly. 


In my view, there's still a long way to go and it's great to see initiatives like Mindframe helping to guide the media on communicating information on mental illness and suicide in a safe and respectful way.


I'd be interested to hear a carers perspective on the reporing of mental illness and suicide in the media. Do you think the experience of carers is reflected responsibly in the media?

Did you know about the StigmaWatch program and how to report stigmatising media reports? How else do you think the media might be able to improve how they report on mental illness?


Re: Service Spotlight //SANE StigmaWatch// 12 Jun – 15 Jun

Thank you for starting this program. One of the main problems I have had with media, and help sites/advice is to rely on family - friends. Well after cutting myself off from them for almost 8 years now, living with my loveable Mutz in the woods. They are my only real friends or family, and I do talk to them but it upsets them as I almost always break down crying now. It breaks me a little more every time I hear “just talk to someone”, family, GP (tried many over the first 4 years, it appears to be in the too hard basket) or friends....


could we please include an option for long term ability for those with none of the conventional options able to be used. Just to be mentioned may help others know how many people dooonnt have any connection with the outside world? Apart from getting food, supplies and one trip to local (68kms round trip) pub for two or three beers, then up rambling as not use to talking, get embarrassed at who I have become and forced to leave or lock myself in disabled toilets :-/ 


sorry if this was not the right place for this suggestion. 

When I hear others come out and say their story it induces both happy and sad thoughts as.... I can relate in some way to most.. 

thank you all for your efforts xx


Re: Service Spotlight //SANE StigmaWatch// 12 Jun – 15 Jun

@Missmylife, thank you for your comment.
I can really hear how difficult it’s been for you to connect with the right support and you’re certainly not alone in that experience. Living in a rural area make it really tricky to find the right support too. It’s great that you’ve found the forums. If you’d like some help to connect with an e-health support service in your area, you might like to check out headtohealth or contact the SANE Help Centre.
And in response to what you’ve mentioned about the role of the media, you’re so right that media coverage can induce a whole range of feelings and it'd be great to see the media promoting varied avenues for where people in different situations can find help. How well to do you think the media do at reporting on mental illness?


Re: Service Spotlight //SANE StigmaWatch// 12 Jun – 15 Jun

Thanks to everyone for dropping in to read about the StigmaWatch program. As a reminder, if you spot media coverage that stigmatises mental illness, you can report to us and if the item breaches media reporting guidelines, we'll follow up with the media professional involved. Hope you have a good weekend.

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