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Reporting on mental health and young people

Reporting on mental health and young people

There are a number of guides you can use when reporting on mental health:

The use of inappropriate images when reporting can be deeply stigmatising and damaging. At best, it reinforces negative stereotypes around mental health. At worst, it can have an adverse effect on a young person and result in them harming themselves.

The use of inappropriate images when reporting can be deeply stigmatising and damaging. At best, it reinforces negative stereotypes around mental health. At worst, it can have an adverse effect on a young person and result in them harming themselves.

How to interview young people

General tips

  • Explain how you are going to use the interview and give as much information as possible about when it will be published or broadcast.
  • Be mindful that there might be topics that the young person does not want to talk about. If you have been told about this already then respect that or if you are told about it in the interview then simply move onto something else.
  • Do not ask about specific ways a young person might have harmed themselves. Not only can this be distressing for the young person being interviewed, reporting on methods can be triggering for other young people.
  • Do not ask for pictures or signs of self-harm. This can also be distressing and trigger other young people.
  • Offer to stop the interview if the young person gets upset but understand that they might want to continue despite getting upset.
  • Avoid cancelling or amending interviews when they have been scheduled. Give as much notice as possible and information about why this has happened should it be necessary. 
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After the interview

  • Wherever possible, offer to make the interview anonymous.
  • Please think very carefully before you choose not to feature a young person that you have interviewed. This can be very hurtful especially if they have put a lot into the interview.
  • If possible, consider letting the young person see the copy or interview before publication and offer to make any changes that they might suggest.

Contact the media team

  • Want to speak to us about a request?

    Contact the media team on: 020 3861 2100 (during and outside of office hours).