Media representations of suicide affect audiences by shaping their perception of information regarding suicide.
Imitative or copycat behaviour, and over-identification are possible detrimental consequences due to insensitive representations of suicide, and these guidelines serving as a point of reference when reporting or portraying suicide in the media.
Avoid prominent placement and undue repetition of suicide stories
Avoid explicit details such as the method, individual, and circumstance involved in the suicide
Exercise caution in choice of wording and headlines
Exercise caution in images/videos used
Exercise caution in reporting celebrity suicides
Show consideration for those bereaved by suicide
Do provide information on available resources and encourage help-seeking
These media guidelines provided by SOS are advisory and are in no way exhaustive. It is also not the intention of SOS to limit press freedom in any way. These guidelines aim to help media professionals ensure that their materials are as accurate, responsible and ethical as possible, and avoid common pitfalls when presenting suicide through media.