Organizations to work together to distribute mental health style guide, social media guidelines, conduct trainings, and reach college students.
LOS ANGELES (May 28, 2015) – The Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) has entered in a partnership with the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) to provide vital resources to journalists for use when editing stories about individuals facing mental health challenges, including distribution of materials, cross-promoting web sites and relevant programs, and educational events all designed to increase sensitivity in reporting and minimize the potential for contributing to stigma and discrimination against such individuals. ACES joins EIC’s collaborative TEAM Up (Tools for Entertainment and Media) initiative which already includes participation of such prominent organizations as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), drawing upon media resources developed and produced by EIC using input from both journalists and mental health professionals with financial support from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA).
In any given year, 1 in 4 Americans will deal with a mental health issue. Yet one of the hardest barriers for those suffering with these issues to seeking help is the stigma around mental illness. By providing guidance that can be used by journalists and other content creators, the goal is to help reduce stigma and discrimination which inadvertently occurs when mental health is portrayed in a sensationalistic or inaccurate way. Integrity and accuracy in communication are criteria that distinguish the valuable contribution journalists make to society. In this day of immediate communication, the ethics of news reporting can be reinforced through timely guidance and resource materials that enhance storytelling about mental health, suicide, co-occurring substance use disorders, and mental wellness.
EIC content being distributed to ACES members under the partnership includes Style Guide: Reporting on Mental Health and Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. EIC, meanwhile, will enhance ACES reach into college student populations through its Generation Next program and will engage ACES members as judges and mentors in the program. A co-branded scholarship may also be a part of the mix. EIC plans to provide training at the 2016 ACES conference, as well as being a part of additional ACES workshops and boot camps. These trainings will also be made available to ACES members in the form of webinars on EICnetwork.tv.
EIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders within the entertainment industry to bring the power and influence of the industry to bear on communication about health and social issues. The organization is considered to be the chief pioneer of entertainment and journalism outreach and a premiere success story in the field of entertainment education. This mission relies on providing resource information to the creative community and culminates in recognition of the industry through the national television special PRISM Showcase which addresses accurate portrayals of substance use issues and mental health concerns. The organization also produces the SET Awards, honoring positive and non-stereotypical portrayals of science, engineering, and technology. For a complete list of health and social issues addressed by EIC and local projects please visit First Draft and EIC’s website. EIC’s website is www.eiconline.org. The PRISM Awards website is www.prismawards.com.
ACES, the American Copy Editors Society, is an education and membership organization working toward the advancement of copy editors. Its aim is to provide solutions to editing problems, training and a place to discuss common issues. ACES is an international members’ alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, websites, traditional media outlets, Fortune 500, as well as freelance editors, students and their professors. Some may think of members as grammar geeks, punctuation freaks and syntax-obsessed snobs; in reality, ACES is an organization built on the needs of its members and the advocacy of editing as a craft vital to clear writing and reader advocacy.
The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Prevention and early intervention (PEI) initiatives implemented by CalMHSA – and collected under the banner of Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement – include Stigma and Discrimination Reduction, Suicide Prevention and Student Mental Health, all of which are funded through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). For more information, go to www.calmhsa.org.