Compassion in Mental Health Reporting

Cari: Literally

Ask me about what I would change about societal attitutes towards mental health issues and I’d have a long, long list. However, pretty close to the top of the list would be addressing the attitude of the media towards mental health.

Yesterday I was sat reading my Twitter feed when I saw the following from @TorbayCID:

“Torquay suicidal man cost Network Rail £37,000 in delays with latest attempt http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/Torquay-suicidal-man-cost-Network-Rail-37-000/story-19614746-detail/story.html …”

I had to read it twice to make sure what it said was actually what it said. Unfortunately the words didn’t change and I was left aghast. Look at it first time and you see factual reporting. Pure fact, Nothing wrong with that, right? But reporting something involving emotion, perhaps acknowledging that emotion may also be involved, would be appropriate. It chose to single out the financial impact of someone who has tried to commit suicide multiple times. Ever see something…

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