Hearings for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide are scheduled to recommence from Monday 28 August.
Australian media are reminded to report safely and sensitively on issues relating to suicide. While the Royal Commission may be validating or healing for some in the defence and veteran communities, it may also be distressing.
Please be mindful of this when reporting on information shared in the hearings and when approaching people for comment or interviews.
The Mindframe website has tailored resources including a guide for those reporting on defence and veteran suicide as well as general resources to support safe reporting.
We recommend that media:
- Share stories that validate the challenges currently being experienced by the veteran community as well as stories of hope or recovery
- Include information on defence and veteran specific services/helplines or pathways to support
- Ensure language used does not sensationalise mental ill-health or suicide
- Avoid inclusion of specific details about the method or location of a suicide death or attempt
- Ensure images and/or video accompanying news or social media posts align with the recommendations above
- Consider the quantity of media reporting on the issue of defence and veteran suicide as a high volume of ongoing reporting may also be distressing for impacted communities.
Support for media
Media self-care Reporting on suicide and mental illness can also impact the welfare of journalists.
To support media professionals Mindframe, in consultation with the DART Centre Asia Pacific, has developed journalism self-care resources for media professionals reporting on suicide and mental ill-health.