Samaritans’ media guidelines for reporting suicide and online resources reinforce industry codes of practice, supporting the highest standards of coverage of suicide.
Our guidance offers practical advice and tips on how to safely cover the topic of suicide in the media. Download our media guidelines and read our best practice tips here.
These 10 top tips and Samaritans’ resources for journalists reinforce industry codes of practice to support the highest standards of safe coverage of suicide.
Information and conclusions shared during an inquest can offer an opportunity to aid understanding of some of the issues surrounding suicide.
When covering online content in news reports journalists should minimise any potential harmful effects on audiences by avoiding signposting vulnerable people to websites or forums which may contain dangerous content.
When a death or suicide attempt involves a celebrity or high-profile person there is a greater likelihood of others identifying with the person.
Young people are particularly vulnerable in relation to media coverage of suicide and self-harm, care should be taken when covering these topics with a young audience.
Suicides on the railways are public incidents and because they may disrupt travel services, media interest is commonplace, particularly from local news outlets.
The wide reach of broadcast material, including online, as well as the diverse audience it attracts, makes responsible approaches to covering suicide particularly important.
If a death by suicide is considered to be in the public interest, journalists may wish to speak with family members and friends.
Murder-suicide incidents are rare but their impact can be widespread. Family, friends, neighbours and witnesses may be traumatised in the aftermath.
Documentaries can inform and educate the public about suicidal behaviour, including the signs which may indicate a person is struggling to cope, and encourage important conversations and help seeking.
When suicide is featured in drama and literature, as with all other media depictions of suicide, care should be taken to avoid content which could be harmful to vulnerable people.
Suicide is a major public health concern and therefore a topic of public interest. It often features in mainstream media and in literature, both fiction and non-fiction.
Suicide is a complex topic, these facts will help you understand more about suicide in the UK, including who is most at risk from media coverage.
Our new e-learning programme has been developed for journalists and programme makers covering suicide and self-harm in the media.
Find out which Ofcom and IPSO codes relate to media coverage of suicide.