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Reporting About Substance Use and Mental Health

A Resource for Media Professionals

Governor Mike DeWine’s RecoveryOhio initiative, the Ohio Attorney General’s Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness, and the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance have created “Reporting About Substance Use and Mental Health: A Resource for Media Professionals” as a tool to help journalists, producers and other media professionals reduce the use of potentially stigmatizing language or imagery in news and media coverage.

The influence media portrayals have on public perception make accurate and compassionate depiction of addiction and mental illness extremely important.

The guide was developed as a collaboration among several renowned substance use and mental health doctors, veteran journalists and nationally recognized media relations professionals in the public and private sector.

It provides an in-depth look at stigmas and how media professionals, often unknowingly, use them in their imagery and language. The resource offers alternatives that allow accurate reporting and storytelling on mental illness and addiction without stigmatizing the conditions.

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