Media coverage on mental health issues is helping people to feel 'less alone'

Mental health charity Mind has praised journalists for helping to raise awareness of the issue.
Mental health charity Mind has praised journalists for helping to raise awareness of the issue.

An unprecedented level of media coverage on mental health issues is helping people, according to a leading charity.

According to research for Mind, 31 per cent of people feel 'less alone' following news coverage of mental health - a rise of 22 per cent since 2016.

The research also shows almost a third of people started a conversation about mental health following news reports.

The public also consider newspaper journalists or TV broadcasters as having more influence in contributing to the public’s attitudes to mental health than teachers or politicians, according to the research.

The Derbyshire Times dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues, running a campaign called You Are Not Alone and publishing reports about the subject.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "These statistics show that high profile, positive media coverage can have an immediate and dramatic effect on the nation's mental health - not only helping people to feel less alone, but encouraging people to speak out and seek support for themselves and others.

"Last year saw an unprecedented amount of coverage of mental health issues.

"From Stormzy to the Duke of Sussex speaking out about their experiences, there has been a sea-change in people's confidence to open up and a recognition that in doing so it can help others who may be struggling in silence.

"It's clear that journalists still wield an enormous power in influencing the public's understanding and awareness of mental health.

"The media now have the opportunity to continue that momentum, and shape a better national conversation about mental health.

"We urge journalists, producers and programme makers to build on this ground-breaking year."

Whoever you are, however you feel, whatever life has done to you, please remember that you are not alone and help is at hand. You can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email them jo@Samaritans.org. The Samaritans are there all day, every day.