Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide
Given the number of high-profile suicides that’ve been reported lately (Alexander McQueen, Andrew Koenig, and now Michael Blosil, Marie Osmond’s 18-year-old son), I thought today would be a good day to share Reporting on Suicide: Recommendations for the Media with you.
I didn’t realize such recommendations existed until Joye Anestis (one-half of the blogging clinical psychology scholar duo I love so much over at Psychotherapy Brown Bag) brought them to my attention after I shared my own thoughts on Carole Cadwalladr’s recent article in The Observer, “Itâ€™s Despair, Not Grief, That Can Lead to Suicide.”
Developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American Association of Suicidology, and the Annenberg Public Policy Center — with help from a slew of other health-related organizations — the seven-page document (the last three and a half of which list cited references as well as mental health and suicide resources here in America and worldwide) isn’t a difficult read, and it’s one I think would benefit families as much as reporters and other media.
Not only does it cover subjects like celebrity deaths and concerns and angles to pursue when interviewing surviving family members and friends, but it also covers issues like mental illness, suicide pacts, and language — topics I think we can all benefit from reading about.
Sparks, A. (2012). Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 29, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/celebrity/2010/03/recommendations-for-media-reporting-on-suicide/