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September 14, 2023
During Suicide Prevention Month this September, broadcasters are working to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide resources to help people in need. They provide contact information for crisis hotlines, air public service announcements and run features and in-depth reporting.
This September, Audacy's annual "I'm Listening" broadcast will bring together artists, athletes, medical experts and others to highlight why talking about mental health is important and discuss how they manage their own mental health. Listeners can call in live to share their inspiring stories and learn about valuable resources available to them. "Audacy's partnership has been invaluable, enabling us to reach millions of people with lifesaving mental health and suicide prevention education. With their leadership, the 'I'm Listening' platform and We Can Survive concert elevate a much-needed national conversation on mental health and connect those who may be struggling to get resources," said Robert Gebbia, CEO, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "We're grateful to all of the incredible talent who help us raise funds to save lives and who remind us through the power of music and storytelling that we are not alone."
As stations prepare stories for Suicide Prevention Month, many pay particular attention to the needs of military personnel and veterans in their communities. Gray Television's 6News WOWT in Omaha, Neb., spoke to the founder of a local veterans' nonprofit and the director of the county Veterans' Service Office for a story about veterans' mental health needs and available resources.
Fox Rochester, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, aired an interview with representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on their Good Day Rochester program. They discussed the work that the Department is doing to destigmatize seeking mental health support and how loved ones can identify the warning signs of someone experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Ross Kaminsky Show at iHeart Media's KOA 850 AM and 94.1 FM in Denver, Colo., spoke to Jim Lorraine, founder and president of America's Warrior Partnership, about his work preventing veteran suicide.
Across the country, TV and radio stations are speaking to local experts and reporting on the unique ways the suicide crisis manifests in their communities, as well as sharing local solutions. This personal touch to the news sets broadcasters apart.
Scripps Local Media's KRTV 3 in Great Falls, Mont., reported that Montana has ranked in the top five states in the nation for suicide rates over the past 30 years, and analyzed some of the risk factors that make their community particularly vulnerable. They spoke to local experts on the topic and shared resources for suicide prevention.
Fox owned-and-operated Fox 11 aired an "In Depth" special on suicide prevention month, discussing the impact of the 988 Suicide Hotline over the past year as well as exploring many facets of the crisis and potential treatments.
In Green Bay, Wisc., Midwest Communications' WTAQ radio stations reported on local suicide statistics and resources. "Every day, there are people around us who are struggling with thoughts of suicide and you may not know it just by looking at them," Jenny Younk, director of the local organization Crisis Center, told the station. "We need to be willing to ask if someone is thinking about suicide and then listen to the answer. As hard as it may be to hear, it can be all the more difficult for people to admit, and by opening that door, you could help save a life."
CBS owned-and-operated CBS Baltimore interviewed a senior counselor at Baltimore Crisis Response about his experience and suicide warning signs. Knowing these warning signs – and how to get help – can save lives.
NAB works with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to share resources for promoting the 988 crisis line with broadcasters. This is part of our commitment to share best practices for broadcast leaders promoting the mental and emotional well-being of their communities and their newsrooms.
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