It’s not often, as a journalist, that you can file a story – and save a life – all in a day’s work.
But following the tips in this handbook could help you do just that – or at least make a real difference to the lives of millions of people and their families who live in the shadow of mental illness.
One in six people reading newspapers and watching the TV news have a mental health problem. The scale of this problem is truly enormous. Mental health problems are estimated to cost the UK economy over £77 billion a year through the costs of care, economic losses and premature death. Some 630,000 people in England alone are in regular contact with specialist mental health services2. And tragically, nearly 6,000 people take their own lives every year in the UK3 – that’s 6 families bereaved by suicide every day.
So mental illness and suicide are huge social problems, responsible for untold suffering, that affect every family in the land. None of us, least of all journalists, can responsibly ignore them.