Guidelines for safely speaking about suicide
The way suicide related stories are presented in the news can have a serious effect on people who may be thinking about suicide, have previously attempted suicide or have lost a loved one to suicide.
Lifeline encourages all media who are reporting on the topic of suicide to be familiar with the following guidelines and resources:
Quick tips for politicians and media
- Public figures such as politicians are well positioned to increase public awareness of suicide and advocate for suicide prevention.
- It is important to ensure that all public messages and comments are safe and life affirming and do not sensationalise suicide.
- Before publicly speaking about suicide, you need to consider whether your comments will increase community understanding of suicide in a safe, positive and non alarmist way.
Speaking with people that are bereaved with suicide
- People bereaved by suicide may be at risk of mental health problems or self-harm. Caution should be exercised when speaking with those who have lost someone to suicide.