Where to Pitch: Mental Health
World Mental Health Day is October 10, so if you have a story idea, now’s about the time to start pitching it to editors. Here, we’ve corralled some of the publications that have covered mental illness responsibly, have a wide readership base and who pay contributors.
The stigma against mental health is gradually eroding, and media outlets are increasingly open to well-reported, original stories and narratives about mental health.
If you’re knowledgeable about mental health, and have something to add to the conversation, the weeks leading up to October 10 would be a great time to pitch your ideas. As voracious consumers of media, HackPack has rounded up some of the outlets we respect for their coverage.
General Interest Sites
The Huffington Post: Tackling the subject before many other outlets did, HuffPo is a popular destination for news, opinions and essays about mental health. (Note: HuffPo’s general pitch form has been known to work, but it may be more effective to e-mail section heads directly.)
The Guardian: The Guardian is a publication everyone wants a byline in, and has done some good work in the mental health realm. Rumor is that it isn’t common for editors to commission freelancers, but it is nonetheless worthwhile to pitch the relevant editors (Society or Health) if you think you have an original or relevant story, or submit to their popular Opinion section.
The Establishment: With irony the point of its name, The Establishment seeks out original stories from minority and marginalized groups, making them a perfect home for mental health pitches. They publish articles, essays, multimedia and investigative pitches, and have a solid reputation among contributors for being great to work with.
Discover: For those who are inclined towards the scientific side of mental health, whether that’s ongoing research, developments, studies, or interesting medical phenomena. Discover is where the scientific meets the fascinating. You should have hard evidence backing up your story as well as a compelling hook.
The Orange Dot: Less academic than Discover, The Orange Dot is Headspace’s editorial platform, dedicated to articles about managing health: mental, physical and emotional. The editors have a great reputation for being fun to work with, and the platform has a sizeable following and a sleek but charming look.
VICE: VICE’s affinity for pushing the envelope lends itself well to breaking taboos about mental illness. VICE’s mental health coverage ranges from international reporting to personal stories to straight-out shocking confessionals (as is VICE’s way.)
Buzzfeed Essays: Buzzfeed continues to search for fresh voices on contemporary issues, and specifically asks for personal narratives on mental health. (Warning: Buzzfeed has a significant readership, so writers should be aware that personal details will be required and seen by a large audience.)
HelloGiggles: While its name is not synonymous with hard-hitting coverage of current affairs, HelloGiggles has dedicated an entire section to empathetic coverage of everyday mental health stories, or how it appears in popular culture. If you have a story that doesn’t quite have a news hook, but is highly relatable to a wider audience, HelloGiggles may be interested.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Mental health is a huge subject, and many outlets would be interested in running a relevant story with the right angle. We’ve aggregated outlets that have dedicated sections and have a track record of publishing well-reported pieces.