Samaritans launches its first bilingual Media Guidelines

Welsh version of press release: Samariaid yn lansio Canllawiau dwyieithog cyntaf i’r Cyfryngau

Image above: (left to right) Christopher Mill - Samaritans’ Trustee from Wales, Mark Drakeford AM - Minister for Health and Social Services, Sarah Stone - Samaritans’ Executive Director for Wales.

Today, Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, hosted the launch of Samaritans’ first bilingual Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide, in Cardiff.

Research shows clear links between how the media portray suicide and imitative behaviour among vulnerable people. Samaritans’ guidelines, which are based on two decades of the charity’s close work with the media, provide practical guidance for reporters and programme makers on how to handle this sensitive issue responsibly, above and beyond editorial codes set out by industry regulators.

This new edition of Samaritans’ media guidelines has been developed following the charity’s widest ever consultation with journalists, suicide academia and relevant stakeholder groups.

Sarah Stone, Samaritans Executive Director for Wales, said: “Our guidelines support the media in its key role to raise awareness of the issues surrounding suicide, such as the signs to look out for in people who may be vulnerable. Talking about suicide in the media, if done responsibly, encourages help-seeking behaviour by highlighting valuable sources of support, such as the Samaritans’ helpline.

“It’s important that these guidelines are accessible to all media across Wales and I’m delighted that we have this bilingual version.”

Launching the guidelines, Mark Drakeford AM, said:

“Samaritans’ guidelines on reporting suicide have been important in improving press coverage of this important issue. Media coverage of suicide, when handled incorrectly, has been shown in many studies to impact negatively on suicide rates. Equally, when reported carefully and sensitively, the media have a positive contribution to make to public understanding of this important matter. It is vital, therefore that this guidance exists and is followed.”

On average, over 300 people take their own lives by suicide each year across Wales. Suicide is a public health issue and Samaritans has played a vital role in society.

The charity’s helpline provides a safe place to talk for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.

 

ENDS –

For more information about the work of Samaritans, please contact Samaritans’ press office on: 020 8394 8300 or email press@samaritans.org.

 

Notes to editors:

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year.

We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.

Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.

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