Jehan Casinader was awarded the 'Reporter of the Year' in 2018 at the NZ Television Awards and in 2020 was named 'Broadcast Reporter of the Year' at the Voyager Media Awards for his coverage of the Christchurch terror attack.
Now a keynote speaker, facilitator and MC, Casinader is also a published author, documenting his four-year struggle with mental health in his book 'This Is Not How It Ends: How rewriting your story can save your life' and uses his experiences to help inspire others to take control of their 'stories'.
Building resilience and adversity is a common trait amongst those in rural communities and the role hopeful news stories play in affirming these feelings. Casinader told REX host Dominic George how these narratives can serve as a counterweight to the plethora of negative news that often dominates media consumption.
"Are you exposed to stories that give you hope? How can I learn from what other people are doing in the farming sector that helps me build my business and be well as a leader and a person," he said.
Casinader highlighted the importance of consistency in addressing mental health issues. As awareness of mental health has grown, so has the corporate interest in it, often leading to cynicism. However, he argues that the focus needs to be on action, on equipping people with the tools they need to manage their mental well-being.
“We need to be giving people new ideas about how to look after their well-being, rather than just saying ask for help, ask for help, you know."
They also touched on the role of social media algorithms in shaping our emotional state and mental health.
With studies showing that the content we consume can significantly influence our feelings and perceptions, Casinader urged listeners to take control of the news and information they engage with daily.
"There's a whole lot of research that shows that how we feel, how we make sense of the world, whether we're optimistic or pessimistic those things are significantly influenced by the content that we're being exposed to."
Casinader also spoke about his upcoming webinar, "Tell Me the Good News," hosted by the Dairy Women's Network. The session promises to provide strategies to manage the triggers in our lives, focusing on the influence of negative news on mental health.
Drawing from his experiences as a journalist and someone who has faced his own mental health struggles, Casinader concluded, "I think we need to bridge that gap a little bit more, rather than just making complaints."
As the conversation around mental health continues to evolve, it's clear that the relationship between media consumption and mental health will remain a significant part of the dialogue.
Listen to the full chat between journalist & TV presenter Jehan Casinader and Dominic George above.