DEATH OF ROBIN WILLIAMS - REMINDER OF THE SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE REPORTING OF SUICIDE
URGENT NOTICE TO MEDIA: 13th August 2014
Following reports that Robin Williams’ death was a suicide, Lifeline is reminding Australian journalists and media professionals to be safe and responsible when covering suicide.
While this most recent death by suicide is newsworthy, and coverage can be effective in raising awareness of help seeking services, suicide is a complex issue and reporting of this subject can impact on vulnerable members of the community.
WHEN REPORTING A SUICIDE, PLEASE DO NOT REPORT THE MEANS OF THE SUICIDE
Research shows this increases the likelihood of distressed individuals hearing this and "copy-catting". We also remind media outlets of the following:
• Adding help seeking information to your stories can provide somewhere for people who may be impacted by the coverage to find professional support. A list of 24-hour crisis lines can be found here;
• Minimise details about method and location; and
• Covering suicide can be traumatic for media. Self-care resources are available to journalists from the DART Centre for Journalism & Trauma here.
Lifeline encourages all media outlets to follow the Mindframe guidelines, detailed at http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-suicide
Please contact the Mindframe project team if you need further assistance:
Telephone: 02 4924 6904
Mobile: 0427 227 503
Email: [email protected]
“Mindframe has worked extensively with the media, and those who work in the mental health sector to develop these guidelines for reporting suicide and mental illness,” said Lifeline Chairman John Brogden.
“Journalists play a key role in raising awareness of these issues, but stories about suicide in the media can harm or cause distress for some members of the community.”
For media comment from Lifeline in regard to this story, please phone 0408 407 376 or [email protected]
If you’re thinking about harming yourself or ending your life contact Lifeline:
Call: 13 11 14 (24/7)