Category Archives: Mental health

Personal story inspires series on mental illness
among people experiencing homelessness

homeless tent camp

Photo by Graywalls via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

San Diego-based inewsource investigative reporter Jennifer Bowman has tracked policymakers’ responses to the region’s rising count of people with mental illness experiencing homelessness and the often futile efforts of family members to secure court orders involuntarily committing them to a medical treatment facility.

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Journalists need support and self-care when reporting on trauma 

AHCJ Board President Felice Freyer, addresses attendees during the “Journalists and trauma: A survivor’s guide” session at HJ23. (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

A global pandemic, never-ending mass shootings, heartbreaking patient stories, an opioid epidemic, legislation that endangers people’s lives … there’s no shortage of traumatic stories in the news every day, and the journalists who report it are affected by secondary trauma from that reporting.

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A niche mental health newsroom eyes expansion   

Mind Site News website screenshot

MindSiteNews.org is one of the nation’s only news organization exclusively covering mental health.

Launched in September 2021, it’s an outgrowth of a smaller, state-focused website at California’s Steinberg Institute that veteran health and mental health journalist and AHCJ award-winner Rob Waters was running at the time.

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Tips to help journalists cope with pandemic and other stress 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska via pexels.

As we enter year three of the pandemic, many journalists continue to search for strategies to help them cope with mental health fallout from both experiencing and covering COVID-19.

Several recent surveys show journalists during the pandemic have experienced high rates of symptoms associated with post traumatic distress syndrome (PTSD) like anxiety, depression, flashbacks, negative changes in thinking or mood and increased reactivity to emotionally charged events.

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Lessons learned from reporting on sex trafficking survivor stories

Sandy West

When reporter Sandy West took on an assignment to cover a Texas program that offers comprehensive mental and physical health services to survivors of sex trafficking who identify as men, she quickly delved into a topic she didn’t know much about. In a recent interview, West, an independent reporter based in Houston, talked about how she prepared for the story and things reporters should keep in mind when talking to people who share memories of difficult experiences. Her story was published in September in The Imprint.

This discussion has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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