Media guidelines for the reporting of suicide
Samaritans’ Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide (pdf) have been produced following extensive consultation with journalists and editors throughout the industry.
They are aimed at those reporting suicide in any media, from factual description to dramatic portrayal.
Simple do's and don'ts to ensure sensitive coverage of suicide.
The supporting evidence that media coverage impacts suicide rates and methods.
Regulations and Codes of Practice that the media must follow relating to suicide.
About Samaritans Media Guidelines
On average, over 6,000 people take their own lives by suicide each year across the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI).
Research shows that inappropriate reporting of suicide may lead to imitative or ‘copycat’ behaviour.
Samaritans Media Guidelines provide practical recommendations for reporting suicide across all media.
We have also produced a series of supplementary factsheets:
- Working with bereaved families in the aftermath of a suicide (pdf)
- Reporting rail suicides and attempts (pdf)
- Best practice for broadcast reporting of suicide (pdf)
- Drama portrayals of suicide (pdf)
- Reporting murder-suicides (pdf)
- Best practice for reporting on suicide using digital media (pdf)
- 10 things to remember when reporting suicide - a summary of the key points (pdf)
"Irresponsible reporting on suicide can have very damaging consequences. These guidelines provide clear, positive advice to help journalists cover a tragedy, and avoid doing more harm."
Dr Ben Goldacre, Writer, Bad Science
Source of support
Samaritans offer confidential support around the clock to anyone that wants to talk through their problems. Only 1 conversation in 5 is with someone feeling suicidal.
Common reasons to call us include:
- relationship and family problems
- loss, including loss of a friend or a family member through bereavement
- financial worries
- job-related stress
- college or study-related stress
We also have a number of other sources of support offering specific advice: