Ashley Argoon presents the Media LiFE Award to Illawarra Mercury at NSPC19

Illawarra Mercury is this year’s winner of the Media LiFE Award, presented at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Melbourne last night.

Everymind initiative, Mindframe sponsored the Media Award category for 2019, which was presented by Ashley Argoon Education Editor at the Herald Sun.

The annual LiFE Awards acknowledge excellence in suicide prevention with the Media Award recognising outstanding and sustained coverage of suicide prevention stories within print, non-print, social media or art mediums.

The recipient of the award is also judged on their ability to consistently adhere to safe Australian reporting standards and Mindframe guidelines.

Ashley Argoon, Education Editor at the Herald Sun and a member of the Mindframe Media Advisory Group was pleased to present the award to the Illawarra Mercury, for showcasing safe suicide prevention stories to the community.

The Illawarra Mercury has been running a successful QPR campaign called #care2QPR, which led to a great R U OK? Day event in 2018 for them. The campaign involved over 21 stories around lived experience being published across media platforms locally and nationally, which is an enormous feat.

Editor of the Illawarra Mercury Julian O'Brien said the #care2QPR came about through discussions between a couple of like-minded organisations who wanted to make a difference to the local community.

"I have learnt a great deal from the lived experience voices in our community but perhaps one of the insights that has resonated with me the most is the best antiseptic for stigma is sunlight, things don't get better if it doesn't get out in the open and is talked about," Mr O'Brien said.

"Media have an important role to play and responsibility to support safe conversations about suicide.

"It is incredibly humbling to be acknowledged for our role in this important campaign, it was a team effort and wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Black Dog Institute LifeSpan team."

On behalf of the Mindframe team at Everymind, we would like to congratulate the hard working team at the Illawarra Mercury on winning the prestigious LiFE Award, and congratulations to all the other winners from the night.

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