Frequently Asked Questions about Suicide

supporting handsIs it okay to talk about suicide?

Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide or killing themself will not increase their suicide risk.

 

Can suicides be prevented?

Suicides can be prevented. Getting someone who may be suicidal the appropriate care will help them.

 

How does the media play a role? 

Suicide contagion, or "copycat suicide" can happen. Traditional and social media have a role to play in helping prevent suicide, by the way they report on suicide. Please see these responsible reporting guidelines for tips on how to cover suicide.

 

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide:

  • Inform the audience of the event without sensationalism.
  • When reporting about a person who died from suicide, use pictures from school or a job. It is also important to include local crisis logos and phone numbers.

  • Avoid strong terms in describing recent suicides with strong descriptive language such as “epidemic” or “drastic increase.” Instead use words such as “rise” or “higher.” 

  • Most people show warning signs – deaths by suicide are not inexplicable. 

  • Suicide is a public health issue; seek the input of suicide prevention experts when reporting.

 

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