The Mental Health Foundation has launched four $10,000 grants for journalists and other media creatives.
The 2021 Pūtea Pāpāho or Media Grants, which form part of the Nōku te Ao: Like Minds programme, aim to help people in the media industry shine a light on the injustices that New Zealanders with mental illness still face.
Currently, funding and support are key barriers for reporters and creatives wanting to create and publish mental health-focused projects. The grants’ offer of up to $10,000, with relevant contacts and support from the Mental Health Foundation, aims to help change that.
Mental illness discrimination remains a problem in New Zealand. Although almost half of all New Zealanders (47%) will experience mental illness or distress in their lifetime, one in five people with mental distress have been discriminated against. Discrimination in the workplace (50%) and in whānau settings (33%) is most common, with further discrimination experienced in healthcare, housing, insurance and social settings. The fear of being discriminated against is known to prevent people from seeking help when they most need it and hinder recovery.
The media industry plays a key part in ending mental distress discrimination. Stories and content which expose the injustices people with mental illness can face can drive change to end those injustices. Positive or neutral portrayals of people with mental illness help end prejudice and discrimination in our communities and whānau.
The Media Grants have been administered by the Mental Health Foundation for over a decade, funding more than 28 recipients over that time. Last year’s grant recipients include journalists Sela Hopgood (RNZ Pacific) and Oliver Lewis (freelance; published in Newsroom), as well as other animators and videographers. More fellows’ projects are listed here.
The grants opened for applications on Monday, 30 August and will close on 5pm, Friday 15 October. Applicants must submit an application form and written or video-based proposal.
You can apply for a Pūtea Pāpāho or Media Grant here.