DkIT Film & TV Students Engage on Representation of Mental Health in the Media16 March 2023
Dundalk Institute of Technology were delighted to welcome Sinead Keating, Media Education & Policy Officer with Headline.ie. Sinead has visited campus twice this semester to deliver an important workshop to the DkIT’s Film & TV students on representations of mental health illnesses and suicide in the media. This workshop was delivered to both 3rd year students on their Creative Documentary module and also to 2nd years on their Documentary Production: Theory & Practice module on the BA (Hons) in Film & Television Production.
According to the World Health Organization, research over the last 30 years has convincingly demonstrated that mass media are one of the most significant influences on people’s belief systems. Consequently, individuals often form their attitudes about mental health difficulties and suicidal behaviour through the television programmes, radio programmes, news reports, and films they see. The media have a significant role to play in reducing stigma towards people with mental health difficulties. Headline's objective is to work as collaboratively as possible with Irish media professionals, across print, broadcast, and online platforms, to reduce the effects of suicide contagion, and the stigma attached to mental ill health.
After delivering the workshops in DkIT, Sinead Keating from Headline noted,
‘I was delighted to deliver the Headline student workshop on the suicide and mental health reporting guidelines to the 2nd and 3rd year TV & Film Production students in DkIT. It was encouraging to see the students engaging thoughtfully with the practical work and giving perspectives on mental health from a media angle that had not come up in previous training sessions. The consideration they applied to this sensitive topic was excellent, and it was a pleasure to present our workshop to them’.
Programme Director of the BA (Hons) in Film & Television Production Sarah McCann added,
‘It is so important that students studying any form of media production are both aware of and adhere to the best practice guidelines for representing mental health illnesses and suicide in their creative content. Documentary is a key area of practice and study for the students on our 4-year programme and the fact that the workshop also included an analysis and discussion around recent documentary case studies was extremely beneficial for them’.