These guidelines provide a valuable resource for those in the media who have any involvement with the reporting or portrayal of suicide and represent an important source of information to help ensure that the quality of reporting and portrayal on this important and sensitive topic is of a high standard.
Professor Keith Hawton, Director, Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford.
- Download the 2008 Media Guidelines for the UK (700KB PDF document)
- Download the 2009 Media Guidelines for Ireland (1.5MB PDF document)
How the Media can help
A fine line remains between sensitive, intelligent reporting and sensationalising the issue. But the sensitive reporting of suicide and self-harm incidents means the media can:
- Offer advice for both people at risk and also worried families and friends.
- Provide contact information for support services, to encourage people at risk to seek help at an earlier stage.
- Raise awareness of the complexity of the issues surrounding suicide.
How Samaritans can help
I contacted the press team at Samaritans late on a Friday evening and despite the time of the call I was very well briefed and was given guidance as to how to handle the story in a responsible manner. I was also provided with a comment which enhanced my reporting and gave sound advice to people potentially affected by the issue.
Jennifer Sugden, Scottish Daily Mail Reporter
Samaritans’ Press Office is available 24 hours a day for consultation on any media enquiry or sources of support:
Tel: +44 (0)20 8394 8300 (during working hours)
Tel: +44 (0)7943 809162 (out of hours contact)