Samaritans – latest media guidelines for reporting suicide
The question is often asked; ‘If I ask someone if they’re considering suicide, will it increase the chances they’ll carry this through?’ The answer is; rarely, if ever and there will be situations where it’s important for you to be that direct with someone.
However, when it comes to writing and reporting suicide, there is a risk that providing details of the circumstances of a suicide or sensationalising the event or suicides in general, can be a problem.
In their most recent Media Guidelines, the Samaritans say that ‘research evidence shows that certain types of media depictions, such as explicitly describing a method , sensational and excessive reporting , can lead to imitational suicidal behaviour among vulnerable people. In contrast, coverage describing a person or character coming through a suicidal crisis can serve as a powerful testimony to others that this is possible, and can encourage vulnerable people to seek help. Samaritans’ media guidelines for reporting suicide offer practical advice on how to reduce the risk of media coverage negatively impacting on people who may be vulnerable.’
To view the Samaritans’ complete ‘media guidelines for reporting suicide’ click this link