Media guidelines

We’re committed to talking about mental health in ways that honour the dignity and human rights of our whānau who are struggling.

We want to tautoko all people in Aotearoa to explore the story behind the headlines, and work to encourage storytellers to delve the different journeys we all go on through life.

When we look at the media, journalists and editors can influence a large rōpū of people about many things, including their thoughts on whānau with living with mental illness or with experience of mental distress, whether positive or negative. 

Sometimes, this position of influence and what is published can lead to prejudice and discrimination in the community. This makes it hard for whānau in recovery to be able to live a full life. At other times, the stories shared can increase our understanding of the tough times our lived experience whānau go through. These stories awhi the storyteller, and equip us with language and tools to be inclusive and understanding to our friends and whānau when they’re struggling.

Our guidelines help people who work in the media to understand and report on mental distress and mental health issues safely, accurately, and respectfully. This includes: 

  • Using language that promotes inclusivity and reduces prejudice and discrimination.

  • Choosing images that emphasise connection and hope. 

  • Interviewing people who have experienced mental distress with compassion and sensitivity. 

  • Ensuring cultural worldviews on mental illness and distress are considered.

Download media guidelines