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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.
Research has shown that responsible coverage which reminds people that suicide is preventable, for example focusing on someone overcoming a crisis and seeking help, can have a protective influence. This type of coverage can serve as a powerful testimony to others that it is possible to come through a suicidal crisis and has been linked to falls in suicide rates. This guidance provides useful information for documentary researchers and producers when creating programmes which cover the issues of suicide and self-harm.
Download our guidance for advice on covering suicide and self-harm in documentaries.
Samaritans’ Media Advisory team works closely with researchers, producers and directors, providing expert advice on covering the topics of suicide and self-harm in factual programmes. The team can be reached 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.
Samaritans has readily given advice on content requiring a sensitive approach, proving to be an invaluable source of guidance and information for us. Their training session was brilliant. Explaining the responsibility we carry, showed the positive impact we are able to have as a broadcaster on those who are more vulnerable in society at large.
Isabelle Weerawardana-Odusanwo, Editorial Compliance Executive, SKY