The Press Council of India (PCI) on Friday adopted new rules for the reporting over issues pertaining to mental illness and suicide, by prohibiting the use of photograph or other information of a person undergoing treatment for mental illness without their consent. The PCI said in a statement, “In pursuance of section 24(1) of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 relating to publication/reporting of the news related to mental illness, the council has adopted norms.
It prohibits media to not publish any photograph or any other information without the consent of the person undergoing the mental illness. Likewise, the World Health Organization (WHO) also has the guidelines on the reporting of suicide cases and presentation of reports. It prohibits placing the suicide stories prominently and unduly repeating such stories.
Also, it restricts to use language which sensationalize or normalize suicide or present it in a constructive solution to a problem; not explaining the method used; no sensational headlines and not using the video footage and social media links, etc. The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, highlights the role of media in reporting suicide cases or on the people suffering from any kind of the mental illness.
The Press Council of India adopting these norms means violating the rules, will brought to the notice of the council, which will act on the complaint. Also, these complaints can be made by the readers as well.