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Welcome to the Mindframe for journalism and public relations education resources.  These have been specifically designed for universities, and provide valuable resources for educators and students in journalism, public relations and related communications programs at a tertiary level. The online suite provides free teaching and learning resources for use within universities and colleges offering relevant programs across Australia.

Previously known as Response Ability, the Mindframe for journalism and public relations education aims to provide students with the information and background knowledge they need to confidently approach news reporting or other communication about suicide or mental illness in their future professional practice.

The resources have been developed with the assistance of media professionals, public relations practitioners, academics in journalism and public relations, and suicide prevention and mental health experts as well as consumer organisations with the following aims to:

  • Reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental illness;
  • Inform appropriate reporting and communication about suicide and mental illness; and
  • Minimise harm and copycat behaviour.  


Universities Home PageAbout the project

The overall purpose of Mindframe for journalism and public relations education is to influence tertiary curriculum so that graduates in journalism, public relations and communication will be aware of and able to respond to issues relating to suicide and mental illness.
The learning suite provides journalism, public relations and communication educators with tools that will assist in introducing students to the professional and ethical issues involved in reporting or communicating about mental illness, mental health care and suicide.

The package includes lecture slides and notes, case studies, media examples and discussion questions for lecturers and students, audiovisual materials and supplementary materials to guide the use of the learning suite. This website further supports information provided in the learning suite via up to date facts, statistics and information about the other work of the Mindframe National Media Initiative.

"As an international postgraduate student I now feel I can more confidently report on issues of suicide and mental health whilst being considerate to society and those directly involved / implicated."
(Student, University of Queensland, April 2005)


Resources for Australian journalism educators were initially funded by the Australian Government under the Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy and developed by the Hunter Institute of the Mental Health as pilot resources in 1997. The focus on the resources was then broadened to cover both suicide and mental illness, with Response Ability multimedia resource kits produced in 2001 and distributed to educators at all Australian universities offering journalism in 2002. Additional supplementary resources were developed in 2004 and distributed in 2005 to enhance the currency of the resources. Resources for public relations were developed in consultation with professionals and academics in 2007 and disseminated via online access to all PRIA accredited universities between 2008 and 2010.


Response Ability Kit

 Original Response Ability hard copy multimedia kit


The resources for both journalism and public relations are now provided online.  Access to the secure lecturers section of the site as well as audio-visual resources to support the package are available free of charge to all universities offering relevant programs. 


Project Team

The Mindframe National Media Initiative is coordinated and managed by a project team at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health (HIMH), based in Newcastle NSW (Click here for further information on the project team at Mindframe)

Obtaining Resources

Curriculum materials can be accessed via the navigation pane at the left-hand side of this page.Educators and students can access hard copies of Mindframe resources from:

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The Mindframe Project Office
Tel: 02 4924 6900
Fax: 02 4924 6901

The preferred citation for this educational resource is:
Hunter Institute of Mental Health. (2012). Mindframe for journalism and public relations education (online curriculum resources). Canberra, ACT: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

*Funded by the Australian Government under the National Suicide Prevention Program.