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If a death by suicide is considered to be in the public interest, journalists may wish to speak with family members and friends.
Approaching those who have lost a loved one can be difficult and requires a great deal of sensitivity. People who have been bereaved by suicide, particularly those close to the person who has died, will be profoundly affected by losing a loved one in traumatic circumstances. Journalists should also be aware that people who are bereaved by suicide are at increased risk of attempting to take their own lives, reinforcing the need for extra care and consideration with interviews and how stories are published.
Sensitive and careful reporting of suicide is vital. Journalists should always seek to help the general public understand more about the devastating impact this type of death has on peoples’ lives and the support that’s available. They should always ‘stand in the shoes’ of the bereaved family and consider the effect news stories can have on their wellbeing and mental health.
Hamish Elvidge, Matthew Elvidge Trust
Download our guidance for advice on working with people bereaved by suicide
Samaritans’ media advice team is available to support journalists and to answer questions relating to working with people bereaved by suicide 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.