Practice Hard News Story- Covering issues related to Mental Illness

Hello readers!

This week we were taught how to ethically cover issues relating to mental illness. It is an extremely sensitive topic that must be written respectfully and accurately- hopefully that is demonstrated in my article below!

The issue that I’ve reported on was a real event- it happened in Victoria in 2001. Here is the police media release from the time: http://www.mindframe-media.info/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/5302/Case-Study-3-Police-Media-Releases.pdf

So here is my article…


Convicted murderer Neville Garden has been recaptured today after being on the run for five days.

Garden, 45, was located at the Mallacoota town centre at 9:15 this morning.

Garden had been convicted of the murder of milk bar owner John Valiotis in 1995.

After pleading not guilty on the grounds of insanity, Garden was sentenced to 18 years and nine months in Thomas Embling Hospital.

Garden had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the crime.

Garden had been on a day outing in Southbank when he absconded from Thomas Embling Hospital staff.

Head of the State Crime Squad, Commander Rod Lambert, said Garden’s moves were “not spontaneous”.

“He had a valid passport,” Commander Lambert said. “There may have been an amount of preparation involved.”

The Armed Offenders Squad will interview Garden later this week.

Victoria Police have praised the local community and local police for their “invaluable assistance” in locating Garden.

If you or someone you know needs support regarding mental illness, contact the SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) or the Mental Health Advice Line on 1300 280 737.

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