Response Ability for Journalism Education provides free resources and support to journalism educators to provide students with the information and background knowledge they need to confidenty approach news stories about suicide or mental illness.  Response Ability aims to help people to develop the ability to respond to certain situations they will encounter in their professional roles. The resources are founded on a problem-based learning approach, in which participants are invited to discuss and resolve theoretical scenarios that they might face during their journalism careers. 

Since the development of the resources in 2001, The Response Ability team has adopted an active dissemination and promotion strategy that emphasises the sustainable integration of the issues into relevant Journalism programs. Recent data suggests 100% awareness of the resources among Australian Universities offering Journalism programs.

As a further support strategy and as a response to recent consultations with journalism educators, Response Ability will be hosting a half-day professional development workshop at the 2008 JEA Conference that will cover three main areas related to the education of journalism students on the reporting of mental illness and suicide:

* A discussion of the issues and relevancy to Journalism education, including current research evidence and trends.

* Discussion of how the resources can be used to highlight various aspects of journalism and news values, and group activities around curriculum planning.

* Discussion and group activities around ways to talk about sensitive issues in the classroom.

All participants will be awarded a certificate for their participation in the workshop.

If you need any more information about Response Ability, take a look at http://www.responsability.org and click on the Journalism tab. Specific enquiries about the workshop can be sent toAmy.Visser@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au.

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