Reading a Newspaper

Resources for Media Reporting on Suicide 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has  provided media and public health partners the following current Suicide Prevention Media Resources. Worldwide studies have found that certain types of news coverage can increase the likelihood of suicide in vulnerable individuals. Word choice matters and responsible reporting that encourages help-seeking can reduce the risk of additional suicides.

Media Messaging Resources 

The American Association of Suicidology toolkit, Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention was generated by extensive consultation with journalists and those with lived experience of suicide attempts and thoughts. It contains critical information for all media professionals looking to effectively report on suicide as a topic.

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide is a two-page document that was developed with worldwide suicide prevention agencies. It offers specific reporting strategies that could help prevent another suicide or encourage someone to seek help.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention offers several resources on its media messaging page, including “Real Stories” which helps media tell positively framed news stories. The National Action Alliance also has several other categories of information, including a framework for successful messaging which aims to inform organizations how to craft media content about suicide.

There are also Michigan-based coalitions, crisis lines, fact sheets, trainings and events listed on the MDHHS website at Michigan.gov/suicideprevention.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 800-273-8255, should be included with any news media materials that talk about suicide.