Picture This: SWPA Mental Health
Through a collaborative effort with The Staunton Farm Foundation, SWPA Media & Mental Health Building a Healthy Community has tapped the area’s rich natural resources; its dedicated mental health professionals, media representatives, community leaders, legislators & scholars to set priorities and work together to change the way residents in the region look at behavioral health issues. As with any season, change is gradual, Southwestern PA’s rural farmers know you have to till the soil, and plant many seeds, before you can reap this region’s harvest.
Erika Beras, Behavioral Health Reporter / Producer, WDUQ
Jonas Chaney, Public Affairs Director, WPXI-TV
Safdar Chaudhary, M.D., Dir. S’eclairer Psychiatric Practice
Richard Citrin, Ph.D., President, Citrin Consulting
Brian Dyak, President, CEO & Co-Founder of Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.
Darcy Garda, Manager of Development and Marketing, NAMI (SWPA)
Anne Germain, Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry
Jill Greenwood, Journalist, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Sheila Hyland, FosterHyland & Associates
Laurie Barnett Levine, Executive Director, MHA of Westmoreland County
Gerard Magill, Ph.D., holder of The Vernon F. Gallagher Chair, Professor of Healthcare Ethics
at Duquesne University
Ann Mitchell, Associate Professor School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh
Carrie Moniot, Point Park University
John Patterson, PCTV21
Maggie Patterson, Associate Professor of Journalism at Duquesne University, former
reporter for The Pittsburgh Press
Jeffrey Peters, M.D., VP Behavioral Health Svcs. VA (Pittsburgh Healthcare System)
Mark Roth, Journalist, Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
Joni Schwager, Executive Director, Staunton Farm Foundation
Susan Brozek Scott, CEO and Founder of Afterschool Buddy, Inc., a Multimedia Production Company
Dr. Maria Simbra, Medical Journalist, KDKA-TV Dave Solomon, WQED Multimedia
Andrew Stockey, News Anchor at WTAE-TV
Robert Sweet MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, Vice-Chair, Institution Review Board, University of Pittsburgh
Learn More About Mental Health – Tool Kits
Tool Kit specifically designed for use by Media Outlets.
Tool Kit specifically designed for the caregivers of the mental health community.
Recognition Ceremony, SWPA Media & Mental Health Awards (October 24, 2013)
The Inaugural Media and Mental Health Awards
The SWPA media industries annual awards honoring accurate media coverage of mental health issues within television, radio, print and online media in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Produced by the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. in collaboration with the Staunton Farm Foundation.
Awards wills be presented to one submission in each category that scores the highest based on accuracy in the coverage of mental health issues.
Commendations will honor additional submissions in each category for an exemplary job in their coverage of mental health issues based on awards criteria.
All submissions must have had initial (or anticipated initial) public exhibition between the dates of June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2013
TV News Segment
To qualify, a submission must be: A news program segment. • At least 1 minute in duration.• Debuted to TV audiences via local broadcast or • basic cable exclusive to the SWPA market.
TV News – Program Length
To qualify, a submission must be: A news program series episode or special.• At least 22 minutes in duration.• Debuted to TV audiences via local broadcast or • basic cable exclusive to the SWPA market.
Radio News Segment
To qualify, a submission must be: A news program segment. • At least 1 minute in duration.• Debuted to radio audiences via local broadcast • exclusive to the SWPA market.
Radio News – Program Length
To qualify, a submission must be: A news program series episode or special. • At least 15 minutes in duration.• Debuted to radio audiences via local broadcast • exclusive to the SWPA market.
TV Community Affairs Program
To qualify, a submission must be: A community affairs program series episode • or special. At least 22 minutes in duration.• Debuted to TV audiences via local broadcast • or basic cable exclusive to the SWPA market.
Radio Community Affairs Program
To qualify, a submission must be: A community affairs program series episode • or special.At least 15 minutes in duration.• Debuted to radio audiences via local broadcast • exclusive to the SWPA market.
To qualify, a submission must be:A first-run work of written journalism.• Debuted to audiences via local print periodical • publication exclusive to the SWPA market.
Internet News Story
To qualify, a submission must be: A first-run work of written journalism.• Debuted to audiences via local internet site • emanating from and catering specifically to the SWPA market.
TV Public Service Spot or Campaign
To qualify, a submission must be: One or more PSAs created specifically for • public service rather than advertising. A one-time or continuing project.• At least a portion debuted during the • eligibility period.Debuted to TV audiences via local broadcast or • basic cable exclusive to the SWPA market.
Radio Public Service Spot or Campaign
To qualify, a submission must be: One or more PSAs created specifically for • public service rather than advertising. A one-time or continuing project.• At least a portion debuted during the • eligibility period.Debuted to radio audiences via local broadcast • to the SWPA market.
Please contact Susan Brozek Scott at email@example.com for more information.
Media Training for Mental Health Professionals
Contact Susan Brozek Scott at:
- firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-486-2151
Fast Facts Interviewing with the Media
Consider the audience: What is pertinent and interesting to them?
- Avoid jargon: Eliminate all the technical terms that you can without affecting your message. If you are presenting a scientific term, follow with a brief, easy-to- understand phrase.
- Do not patronize: Although journalists may not be experts in your field, pandering or patronizing them will undermine your credibility.
- Use metaphors, similes, and examples: These are great ways to explain information so the audience can understand your message. Try to relate measurements to everyday objects or common knowledge.
- Eliminate statistics: Personalizing data makes it more relatable to the audience.
- Be personal: Relay your personal story, offer emotion, and let your personality and enthusiasm for the topic shine through.
- Be straightforward: Label the news as good or bad to be clear for the consumer. For example, “this is good news for people who suffer chronic back pain.”
- Back up your words: Show your credibility by mentioning affiliations, credentials, and qualifications. Also take note that it is okay to say you do not know the answer to a question!
- Rehearse: Rehearse prior to the interview; however, do not ask to review a story ahead of time.
Communicating With the Media
Keep in mind media representatives are busy and you should communicate with them as clearly and concisely as possible. There are several ways you can communicate with the media:
- Pitch letters: A personalized letter ‘pitching’ a topic or event that is newsworthy.
For tips on writing pitch letters, visit: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/mediaTipsPitch.cfm
- Press releases: A two to three-page report detailing the specifics of an event that has or will take place.
- Media kits: A quick overview of what your organization has to offer or what it is that you want covered by the media. This may include photos, background information on your organization and the topic, and contact information.
Who to Contact?
Some questions when deciding upon a point of contact are:
- What specific reporters cover medical stories?
- Who is the Director of Community Affairs?
- Who produces the local morning show?
- Who is the Assignment Manager?
By contacting the correct individual the first time, you increase your chances of pursuing your topic in the media. It is important to do your research on individuals prior to contacting them.
Try to contact individuals directly and avoid “information” e-mails or phone and fax numbers.
EMCI Mental Healthcare Think Tank
The multidisciplinary approach of this Think Tank focused on each specialty area to apply new ways of understanding to effectively communicate the complexities of mental illness. The Think Tank provided an opportunity to discuss significant obstacles, issues and new developments in the mental health field.
The following Spotlight On series of newsletters focuses on mental health and media in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Each newsletter focuses on a different theme and is aimed at providing tips and resources to help members of the news media report on mental health concerns in a accurate and compelling manner.