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Media Recommendations

Some suicide deaths are newsworthy. Best practices should inform media coverage and discussion of subject matter relating to suicide. It’s important to remember that coverage of suicide can either negatively influence audience behavior by contributing to contagion or have the positive impact of encouraging help-seeking.

Responsible media coverage saves lives

When covering suicide, authors must consider the risk of contagion. Suicide contagion or “copycat suicide” occurs when one or more suicides are reported in a way that contributes to additional suicide(s).

Fortunately, we can report on suicide in a way that empowers truth-telling about the complexities of suicide while maintaining health of the general public. Media can take steps to minimize the possibility that its coverage will contribute to additional suicides. In its coverage, media can also proactively raise suicide awareness and address means of preventing suicide.

The recommendations below were developed by leading experts in suicide prevention in collaboration with several international suicide prevention and public health organizations, schools of journalism, media organizations, journalists, and Internet safety experts. The recommendations are based on more than 50 international studies on suicide contagion.

Learn more about
media recommendations

SAVE was instrumental in the development of the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.
Visit that site linked below.