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It is important for journalists to be aware that young people are a particularly vulnerable audience in relation to media coverage of suicide and self-harm.
Young people are more susceptible to imitational suicidal behaviour and more likely to be influenced by the media than other age groups. With this in mind, particular care should be taken to avoid coverage which includes details of suicide methods and sensationalises or romanticises suicidal behaviour. Stories should remind audiences that suicide is preventable and encourage help-seeking.
Download our guidance for advice on how to safely cover suicides by young people in the media.
Samaritans’ media advice team is available to support journalists and to answer questions relating reporting on suicides affecting young people 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.
“At the Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser as standard practice we include a Samaritan's contacts at the bottom of inquests and mental health-related stories. The guidelines are incredibly important resources for journalists and I will be distributing these out to my editorial team.
Katie French, Head of News, Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser