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When a death or suicide attempt involves a celebrity or high-profile person there is a greater likelihood of others identifying with the person.
Journalists should be aware of how coverage of celebrity deaths can affect suicide rates and aim for sensitive reporting which does not glamorise or romanticise suicidal behaviour.
Rises in overall suicide rates of over 10% - and 30% increases in suicide deaths using the specific method reported in the article - have followed some recent high-profile reports of celebrity deaths by suicide. The Samaritans' guidelines provide state-of-the-art advice to journalists and are highly regarded by suicide prevention experts around the world.
Professor David Gunnell, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Bristol
Download our guidance for advice on how to safely cover celebrity and high profile deaths by suicide.
Samaritans’ media advice team is available to support journalists and to answer questions relating to celebrity suicides at: [email protected]
Providing information on how to contact organisations where people can find support, including helpline numbers, can encourage people who are struggling and may be experiencing suicidal thoughts to seek help. This could save lives. The below video can be embedded in articles and other content, or alternatively use our helpline details listed below.
When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.