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The media can play a major role in educating the general public about suicide, but it needs to follow some guidelines in order to avoid promoting copycat behavior. Here are some tips for journalists:

  • Avoid detailed description of methods used, as these can trigger those who are vulnerable;

  • Word headlines carefully;

  • Be cautious about images;

  • Don't romanticize it. No "Romeo and Juliet" comparisons;

  • Listen to a specialist;

  • Focus on prevention by citing warning signs, risk factors, and what to do to help;

  • Add resources to your story (hotlines, crisis centers, webpages).

If you are a media corporation, an influencer, or a professional with a large audience, please visit Paula's training page, which details how she can offer you tools to cover this sensitive topic.

For more recommendations, click on the resources below:

  1. Reporting on Suicide (online).

  2. The World Health Organization's guidelines for media professionals.

  3. Suicide Media Reporting, by the American Association of Suicidology.

Appropriate examples of reporting about suicide:

My interview to KGW, in Portland/OR.

  1. "What lies in suicide's wake" (2019, NYT).

  2. ​"What happens in suicide's wake" (2019, CNN).

  3. ​"Survivors of suicide 'come out' to combat a national crisis" (2019, Washington Post).

  4. ​"Breaking the silence: research shows that we should talk about suicide" (2019, OPB)

  5. "How are Oregon lawmakers addressing youth suicide rates?" (2019, KATU

  6. "Breaking the silence" (initiative with several outlets from Oregon/US)

  7. "Nurse suicides: getting help before it's too late" (2019, Kpbs)

  8. "How to help youth currently in suicide distress" (2019, The Hill)

  9. ​"You are not alone: a documentary and suicide-prevention toolkit" (2019, Sentinel)

  10. "No one is immune to suicide. But there is hope" (2018, CNN series)

  11. ​"People who attempted suicide as youths trace their recovery" (2011, Toronto Star)

Listen/Watch to my interviews on the topic:
  1.  "The two questions" - The Trauma Therapist Podcast (watch video / Listen to audio)

  2.  Interview to the "Coffee over suicide" podcast  (watch video / Listen to audio)

  3. "Understanding Suicide" - Which way? podcast (Listen to audio)

  4. "The forgotten ones" - Boykin meets world podcast (Listen to audio)

  5. "Grief after suicide" - Thriving with mental illness podcast (Listen to audio)

  6. To 50 and beyond podcast (Listen to audio)

  7. "(Trying) to understand suicide" - Grief out loud podcast (Listen to audio)

  8. "Suicide, isolation, and reaching out" - Social witnessing podcast (Listen to audio)

  9. ​"How to understand suicide" - The collaboration station podcast (Listen to audio)

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