Media

We work with the media in a number of ways to promote our work and raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

Media guidelines under development

The Mental Health Foundation is currently working on developing guidelines to support journalists to tell the whole, accurate, safe and empowering story of what mental health and wellbeing is about. The MHF is consulting with journalists and mental health consumers about what’s important when it comes to telling stories about mental illness and mental health issues.
See the first stages of our research

If you have a media inquiry please contact a communications team member listed below or see our news section for the latest from the MHF:

Amanda Wickman
Senior Communications & Marketing Officer
09 623 4810
021 233 8517
amanda.wickman@mentalhealth.org.nz

Sophia Graham
Communications & Marketing Manager
09 623 4810 ext 811
021 740 454
sophia.graham@mentalhealth.org.nz

We can provide:

  • Information about, and contacts for, Mental Health Awareness Week held in October each year.
  • Spokespeople for interviews and comment who are experts in the field of mental health and wellbeing, including people with experience of mental illness.
  • Information, statistics and data on mental health and wellbeing, suicide and discrimination.
  • Resources, guidance and support for journalists and sub-editors reporting on mental illness.

Please include helplines in your stories

We recommend always promoting the core four helplines with stories about suicide or mental distress so your audience knows who to contact if they need support. The core four are:

  1. Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
  2. Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE).
  3. Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat.
  4. Samaritans – 0800 726 666.

We have a wider list of helplines which include other numbers that may be appropriate for your article. Please consider adding several, but if you can only include one helpline, please choose 1737.

You may be interested to know

The Coroner’s Amendment Act 2016 – What does it mean for New Zealand media?


The law and suicide reporting

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:

  • the method or suspected method of the death
  • any detail (like the place of death) that might suggest the method or suspected method of the death
  • a description of the death as a suicide before the coroner has released their findings and stated the death was a suicide (although the death can be described as a suspected suicide before then).

‘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 about 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.

Talking about suicide
Reporting suicide
Making information about a suicide public