Communicating sensitively and appropriately about suicide

Suicide is complex. There is never a single reason or circumstance that leads to a person taking their own life.

Time and consideration should be given to how and when to communicate information, to whom, what to include and where information should be shared.

We can support you with this. Please contact Step by Step for more information.


When discussing any suspected suicide, it is strongly recommended the information given:

  • is factually correct but does not include detail of the suicide or the method used
  • does not romanticise, glorify or vilify the death
  • does not include details of any suicide note
  • does not include speculation over the motive for suicide
  • includes messages of hope (eg talking helps)
  • focuses on the person and where those affected can find support and help should they need it

 (Swanson & Coleman, 2013)