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COLUMBUS, OHIO, AUGUST 22, 2022 – WOSU Public Media is participating in a national initiative that harnesses the power of public media to destigmatize the topic of suicide and equip friends and family to take appropriate action when someone close to them may be at risk.

Facing Suicide is a primetime PBS documentary airing on WOSU TV September 13 at 9:00pm.

Amplifying the documentary’s messaging around awareness, help and hope, WOSU will conduct two free interactive online training courses for journalists, journalism students and professors focused on suicide and suicide prevention reporting. Registration is free at wosu.org/facing-suicide.

  • Writing the Suicide News Story on Wednesday, September 21 from noon–1:30pm

How do you report on suicide responsibly and in a manner that reduces harm? What should you include or not, and why? Join Nerissa Young, journalist and associate professor of instruction in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, for an engaging case study-based training experience to hone your reporting skills. John Ackerman, suicide prevention clinical manager for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will also be available to answer any mental health-related questions.

  • Taking Care of Yourself After Taking Care of Business: The Aftermath of Trauma for Journalists on Wednesday, September 28 from 6:00–7:30pm

After covering difficult topics, what are strategies to cope with the aftermath? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Saker, retired from the Cincinnati Enquirer, will share her experiences covering health care, suicide and trauma and how she survived a decades-long career on the front line of journalism. Saker was part of the Enquirer’s team that earned the 2018 Pulitzer in local reporting for “Seven Days of Heroin,” a chronicle of the region’s opioid crisis. Bailey Fullwiler, MSSA, LSW, a licensed community social worker and independent grief consultant for Mental Health America of Ohio will also join to share resources within the community that support journalist mental health. Nerissa Young , journalist and associate professor of instruction in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University will lead the discussion.

Participants who complete both free sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, one person dies every 11 minutes from suicide, nearly 46,000 people a year,” said Ronnie Agnew, the Thomas Rieland Endowed General Manager at WOSU. “Our nation is dealing with a mental health crisis. But there is excellent information available and experts who can help. WOSU is pleased to bring awareness of this complex issue through responsible reporting that offers life-saving information to those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and now through this free training initiative.”

Informing various aspects of the project are leading suicide prevention organizations including the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the Jed Foundation (JED), and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE).

WOSU is able to provide this free training and resources for journalists because of a grant awarded through Twin Cities PBS (TPT). Nationwide, TPT has awarded a total of $165,000 in grants to 10 PBS stations to create suicide prevention initiatives in their communities in collaboration with the national PBS broadcast of Facing Suicide. The grants, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), are part of a national Facing Suicide initiative.

About WOSU Public Media
The mission of WOSU Public Media is to engage, inform and inspire our diverse community. An NPR and PBS affiliate licensed by The Ohio State University, WOSU is a non-commercial multimedia organization serving over two million citizens in Central Ohio through broadcast, digital, programming, public engagement and education experiences. Learn more at wosu.org.

CONTACT:
Amy Tillinghast (she/her)
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
1800 N. Pearl Street | Columbus, OH 43201
amy.tillinghast@wosu.org | 614-688-2166 | wosu.org