Belmont Instructor Wins National Emmy Award for CNN Special on ‘America’s Suicide Crisis’

Jen Duck headshot

Instructor of Journalism/Cinema, Television, & Media Jennifer Duck was part of the Anderson Cooper 360/CNN Special Report team that won an Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis Emmy Sept. 24 for the “Finding Hope: Battling America’s Suicide Crisis” special that aired last year.

Duck, who served as editorial producer for Anderson Cooper 360 for six years, is a longtime Belmont adjunct who recently joined the faculty full time. She said of the Emmy, “It’s very bittersweet given the topic, but I do feel it’s one of the most important stories I’ve produced in my career.”

Duck added that throughout the hour-long special, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number and resources were highlighted on screen, online and on CNN social media accounts. As a result, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline reported a 67 percent increase in call volume during the program as individuals reached out to learn how to get help for themselves or for friends and loved ones who were suffering.

“We created this special because suicide is a hidden health crisis. Suicide rates have increased 25% over the last two decades. The crisis isn’t talked about enough because it’s such a hard conversation,” Duck said. “Our goal was a national call to action. We partnered with experts, survivors and family members of those lost to amplify the message that the mental illnesses behind suicide deserve treatment from professionals, just as we would treat other illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. We felt it was about time America started seeking medical help and breaking the stigma and shame surrounding the topic.”

Duck said the special also shows the importance of journalism working in tandem with cinema, TV and media. “One of the many things that drew me to Belmont is the collaboration between departments. The power of combining great storytelling, writing, filming and editing along with an understanding of the ethics of journalism is more vital today than ever before.”

If you or a loved one need support, contact the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline directly at 1-800-273-TALK(8255)