We work with the media in a number of ways to promote our work and raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing.
These guidelines will equip journalists with the confidence and understanding to report on mental illness and mental health issues safely, accurately and respectfully. One in five Kiwis will experience a mental health problem this year, and more than half of us will go through distress or mental illness at some point in our lives.
Journalists hold great power and can influence public opinion about people with mental illness in positive and negative ways. People’s attitudes can reinforce stigma and lead to discrimination, which is a barrier to recovery and being able to live a full life.
The guidelines were created in collaboration with media and mental health consumer representatives, and informed by evidence-based practice.
Please contact a communications team member listed below or see our news section for the latest from the MHF:
Senior Public Relations & Media Engagement Officer
021 998 949
|We recommend always promoting these four core helplines with stories about suicide or mental distress so your audience knows who to contact if they need support.|
|Need to talk?||Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.|
|Lifeline||0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE).|
|Youthline||0800 376 633, free text 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat.|
|Samaritans||0800 726 666.|
|We have a wider list of helplines that may be appropriate for your article. Please consider adding several, but if you can only include one helpline, please choose 1737.|
The Coroner’s Amendment Act 2016 – What does it mean for New Zealand media?
To help protect vulnerable people there are some restrictions in New Zealand on what can be made public about a suicide or suspected suicide. These are set out in Section 71 of the Coroners Act 2006. The Act was amended in 2016 to clarify the restrictions.
Unless you have an exemption from the chief coroner, you can’t make public:
‘Making public’ doesn’t just mean news reports and other media – it includes things like public posts on Facebook too.
Individuals and media may apply to the chief coroner for an exemption to these restrictions.
Please note: if a death occurred before 22 July 2016, only the person’s name and age is allowed to be published before the coroner releases their finding. If a coroner finds the person did take their own life, only the person’s name, address, occupation and that their death was a suicide may be published.
Sometimes, the coroner will release more information if it’s in the public interest.