SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
March/April 2011, Volume 19, Number 2 

For the Media: Recommendations for Reporting on Suicides

Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide is a newly released set of guidelines to help journalists write safely and responsibly about this complex issue.

Included in the updated recommendations is advice for online journalists including bloggers, message board forums and moderators, and “citizen journalists.”

“Suicide takes a devastating toll on our Nation, communities, and individual lives,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “These new recommendations will help journalists in their efforts to broaden public understanding about this national tragedy and what may be done to prevent it.”

Contact Information

 American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
AFSP is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, and advocacy. Visit www.afsp.org.

Contact: Wylie Tene American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 212-363-3500 Ext. 24 / wtene@afsp.org
 Suicide Awareness Voices in Education
SAVE works to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, and serving as a resource to those touched by suicide. Visit www.save.org.

Contact: Dr. Daniel J. Reidenberg, PsyD, FAPA Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) 952-946-7998 / dreidenberg@save.org

Along with a group of suicide prevention experts, researchers, and journalists, developers of the recommendations include SAMHSA, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE). The recommendations are based on more than 50 research studies.

“Research shows that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is through safe media reporting," said Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Executive Director of SAVE.

Warning Signs, Lifeline

The recommendations include common suicide warning signs, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number (1-800-273-TALK), and advice on what to do if someone is at risk.

"We understand that media reports about suicide are sometimes newsworthy and informative for the public, but we also know that certain ways of reporting about suicide can unintentionally contribute to further suicides," said Robert Gebbia, Executive Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide is available online. Links to supporting research, media examples, and further tips for online new sites and bloggers are also included on the website.

For more information about suicide prevention, visit SAMHSA’s website. Suicide prevention is included in several of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiatives, including Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness.

Read the recent SAMHSA press release on this topic.

Read the warning signs. Download a wallet card. (PDF, 114KB)

 image of banner for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-TALK - suicidepreventionlifeline.org


  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Preventing Suicide on College Campuses

Preventing Suicide on College Campuses

College can be a stressful time, and the numbers bear that out.


  From the Administrator  
Suicide Prevention Is Top Priority

Suicide Prevention Is Top Priority

Suicide prevention is top priority at SAMHSA. Read more.


  Children & Trauma  
Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day focuses on trauma.


  Grants  
Block Grants: Changes Open for Comments

Block Grants: Changes Open for Comments

Have a comment on the recent changes to the block grants?


  Art & Prevention  
How Art Can Raise Awareness

How Art Can Raise Awareness

SAMHSA commissioned a painting by Sam English.


  Awards Season  
PRISM Awards & Voice Awards

PRISM Awards & Voice Awards

Two awards galas honor accurate depictions of mental health and substance abuse issues.


  Suicide Prevention  
National Action Alliance & High-Risk Groups

National Action Alliance & High-Risk Groups

Nat’l Action Alliance’s new task forces, ER reports on antidepressants, drug-related attempts.


  Alcohol Awareness Month  
From SAMHSA’s Blog

From SAMHSA’s Blog

Who’s at risk? Read SAMHSA’s blog. Videos by states on underage drinking.


  Also in this Issue  
Healing Beyond Borders

Healing Beyond Borders

SAMHSA-Iraq Initiative focuses on mental health.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury

An advisory from SAMHSA’s CSAT.


  Statistics & Data  
Inhalants Update

Inhalants Update

Inhalants are dangerous. Who is “huffing”?


  Women & Substance Abuse  
Young Mothers

Young Mothers

Age 15 to 19 is a vulnerable time.


  Visit the SAMHSA Store  

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