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Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement Shares Resources for Journalists, Public

California’s mental health community mourns the loss of Robin Williams. An inspirational artist and friend to many, Mr. Williams’ public disclosure of his mental health challenges reminds us that people living with mental illness are not defined by their diagnoses but by the entirety of their human spirit.

  • Through Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement, California’s county mental health organizations, mental health service providers, organizations of mental health consumers and their families, employers, educators, and young leaders are working to eliminate the stigma around mental illness and empower Californians with the knowledge to recognize the warning signs of suicide and to intervene to save a life.
  • Every California County has resources to support people experiencing thoughts of suicide. Visit www.suicideispreventable.org from anywhere in California to learn how you can support others who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, and find local resources such as crisis hotlines and support groups that can provide care.

Resources for Journalists

It is understandable that the loss of an important public figure generates many questions, and each of us — including the news media — has an obligation to respond to those questions accurately and responsibly. The way media reports on suicide can influence behavior negatively by sensationalizing suicide or positively by encouraging help-seeking.

  • Visit reportingonsuicide.org to download national consensus recommendations for how journalists can report on suicide in a responsible and helpful manner. At minimum, a suicide prevention resource, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1 800 273-TALK [8255]) should be included.
  • Additionally, the AP Style Guide provides guidance on addressing mental illness in coverage. Together, we can save lives.
  • California’s mental health leaders are resources to journalists who wish to learn how California’s mental health system is transforming to enable people with mental health challenges to succeed in recovery and lifelong wellness. Every California county has resources available to people having thoughts of suicide and their family and friends. To arrange an interview with a mental health expert, contact Mike Roth at mike@paschalroth.com.
  • Though they rarely make headlines, millions of Californians have stories of recovery and resilience in the face of mental health challenges and addition. Visit the Each Mind Matters Great Minds Gallery to view these stories.
  • Visit www.speakourminds.org to arrange for speakers to share their stories of mental health recovery and resilience in your community.

Resources for the public

  • Learn the facts about suicide; most importantly that suicide is preventable. Visit www.suicideispreventable.org from anywhere in California to learn how you can support others who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, and find local resources such as crisis hotlines and support groups that can provide care.
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness, California empowers people with lived experience of mental illness to share their first-hand perspective of recovery. Visit http://www.namicalifornia.org/ for more information.
  • If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Lifeline will connect you to a trained crisis counselor at your nearest local crisis center, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For Spanish language counselors, call 1-888-628-9454.