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Press Release

Social Media and Mental Health Writers and Journalists Intersect Through First-of-its-Kind Guidelines for Communication

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) May 08, 2014

The Entertainment Industries Council's (EIC) TEAM Up (Tools for Entertainment and Media) has released the first-of-its-kind Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention, a set of recommendations to assist media organizations sharing news and digital content about mental health and suicide prevention through their social media outlets in a way that is not only authentic, but also, de-stigmatizing and non-glamorizing of suicide or mental health concerns. The announcement was made today by board-certified internist, addiction medicine specialist and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky and EIC President Brian Dyak, who were joined by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, California Mental Health Services Authority, Facebook Inc. and leading journalism organizations the National Association of Broadcasters and Radio Television Digital News Association.

"The content has been reviewed by experts in social media and the related health fields, and created by EIC, a trusted media resource. This powerful tool will elevate conversation that uses social media to broaden our understanding of mental wellness and suicide prevention. Media professionals have an exceptional opportunity to positively and proactively influence audiences to act with both caution and compassion toward mental illness," Dr. Drew Pinsky said.

Three key media organizations, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Radio Television Digital News Association and Facebook have aligned to support the national call to elevate the conversation around mental wellness and raise awareness that help is available, treatment works and recovery is possible. The guidelines encourage the limiting of harmful language and reinforcement of practices that include resources such as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK) and in stories and entertainment programming involving Post-Traumatic Stress, violence, suicide and other mental illnesses.

"The National Association of Broadcasters is pleased to continue to support efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination around mental illness. By harnessing the power and influence of media and technology, we can share simple, cohesive and potentially life-saving messages. This is one more step toward shining a light on mental health and suicide prevention and showcases an important way broadcasters are serving their local communities," said Sen. Gordon Smith, president, National Association of Broadcasters.

"Whether you want to share your own story, discuss events in the news or help others understand mental illness and encourage them to seek help when they need it, these recommendations will be a helpful resource for everyone, especially in teaching children and teens how to communicate about these issues. Safe, constructive communication via social media, that does no harm, changes the conversation and reduces stigma," said Brian Dyak, Entertainment Industries Council, President and CEO, and Co-Chair of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Public Awareness & Education Task Force.

"Resources like this enable our newsrooms nationwide to better communicate and serve as beacons of information that elevate the public consciousness around mental health and suicide prevention," said Mike Cavender, RTDNA/F Executive Director.

"Social media makes it easier than ever to connect and share with the people you care about," said Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer, Facebook and Co-Chair of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Public Awareness & Education Task Force. "Knowing effective ways to seek input and offer support to your friends and families about difficult topics is an important part of building a safe online community."

The Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention and additional resources for entertainment writers and journalists may be found at

About Entertainment Industries Council
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 communicate 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 web site is The PRISM Awards web site is The SET Awards web site is EIC's internet television network is

About TEAM Up
EIC's TEAM Up program is funded by the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). It is one of several Prevention and Early Intervention Initiatives implemented by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), an organization of county governments working together to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. CalMHSA operates services and education programs on a statewide, regional and local basis. For more information, visit TEAM Up resources are available in English and Spanish at TEAM Up also includes extensive Twitter outreach to further drive the conversation, highlighting news stories that accurately depict mental health, sharing resources and events, and offering guidance on mental health storytelling. Follow @MediaTEAMUp.

About National Association of Broadcasters
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at

About Radio Television Digital News Association
RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession, consisting of more than 3,000 news directors, news associates, educators and students. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, the association is dedicated to setting standards for newsgathering and reporting. Although news techniques and technologies are constantly changing, RTDNA's commitment to encouraging excellence in the electronic journalism industry remains the same. RTDNA represents electronic journalists in radio, television and all digital media, as well as journalism educators and students. Our members are news directors, producers, reporters, anchors, general managers, professors, students, industry suppliers, operations managers and digital content managers. RTDNA members benefit from publications, training, advocacy and many opportunities to network with colleagues. Learn more at

About The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and make suicide prevention a national priority. Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) operates the Secretariat for the Action Alliance, which was launched in 2010 by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates with the goal of saving 20,000 lives in five years. Contact: Eileen Sexton, Director of Communications, 202-572-5383, esexton(at)edc(dot)org.

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