In cases of suspected suicide or undetermined intent the Samaritans’ Media Guidance for the discussion and reporting of suicide should be applied. The key messages from the guidelines are:
- Think about the impact of the coverage on your audience.
- Exercise caution when referring to the methods and context of the death.
- Avoid over simplification.
- Avoid melodramatic descriptors of the death and/or its aftermath.
- Aim for non-sensational, sensitive coverage.
- Consider carefully the placement and illustration of media reports.
- Educate and Inform
Phrases to Use
Take one’s own life
Person at risk of suicide
Die by/death by suicide
Phrases to Avoid
Cry for help
A ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’
Suicide victim/ epidemic
The media guidelines should be applied in all media interaction and correspondence relating to the details of the incident and any related searches, by all the organisations involved. These guidelines cover the process from search through to recovery.