Headline Evaluation Report (June 2017)
The media has a significant role to play in reducing/increasing stigma around mental health and suicide. Positive reporting can support health literacy and help sign post to services. On the other hand, negative reporting can lead to imitative suicidal behaviour. International research has shown that media guidelines are effective when developed and rolled out in consultation with the media. Research also indicates the importance of on-going training and education as part of a dissemination strategy. This is why media engagement and collaboration is a key component of the Connecting for Life strategy. Under 1.4.4 of Connecting for Life the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) is responsible for media monitoring and engagement around the reporting of suicide.
The HSE NOSP funds Headline (operated by Shine) to monitor mental health and suicide reporting in Irish media with a view to:
- Identifying the extent to which coverage meets best practice reporting guidelines
- Contacting media organisations in the event of guideline breaches, and
- Informing educational outreach activities with practicing journalists and those studying journalism at post-secondary and third level.
In March 2017, the NOSP engaged a team led by Dr Roddy Flynn of the Institute for Future Journalism and Media (FuJo) at the DCU School of Communications to analyse the operations of Headline. The report below outlines the findings of this review.
Shine Response Document (August 2017)
Shine welcomed the completion of the DCU report on the operations of Headline since its inception in 2006. Shine is supportive of the positive tone of the report and takes on board the recommendations. The document below outlines Shine’s specific responses.