Media Professionals

The factors contributing to suicide and its prevention are complex and not fully understood, but there is evidence that the media plays a significant role. On the one hand, vulnerable individuals may be influenced to engage in imitative behaviours by reports of suicide, particularly if the coverage is extensive, prominent, sensationalist and/or explicitly describes the method of suicide. On the other hand, responsible reporting may serve to educate the public about suicide, and may encourage those at risk of suicide to seek help.

Resources & Guides for Media Professionals

Suicide is a serious public health problem that demands our attention, but its prevention and control, unfortunately, are no easy task. State-of-the-art research indicates that the prevention of suicide, while feasible, involves a whole series of activities, ranging from the provision of the best possible conditions for bringing up our children and youth, through the effective treatment of mental disorders, to the environmental control of risk factors.  Appropriate dissemination of information and awareness-raising are essential elements in the success of suicide prevention programmes.

In 1999 WHO launched SUPRE, its worldwide initiative for the prevention of suicide. This booklet is the revised version of one of a series of resources prepared as part of SUPRE which are addressed to specific social and professional groups that are particularly relevant to the prevention of suicide. The revised booklet is the product of a continuing collaboration between WHO and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). It represents a link in a long and diversified chain involving a wide range of people and groups, including health professionals, educators, social agencies, governments, legislators, social communicators, law enforcers, families and communities.

By World Health Organization and International Association for Suicide Prevention