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Reporters offered advice for safe reporting on suicide

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There might some trepidation on the part of reporters to take advice. Some of us tend to think – quite incorrectly – that we know it all. But we can learn things of great value by being open to advice.

Some great advice was offered at this week's Jefferson City Suicide Prevention Conference.

Among the tips for reporters from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center:

1) Avoid detailed descriptions of the suicide, including specifics of the method and location.

2) Avoid romanticizing someone who has died by suicide and avoid featuring tributes by friends and relatives.

3) Avoid glamorizing the suicide of a celebrity.

4) And one which should be obvious but is not – Avoid using terms such as "failed" or "successful" when describing suicide attempts.

The handling of a suicide story might play a role, small though it might be, in preventing someone from taking his or her life. And that's worth being open to a little advice every now and then.

– Steve Walsh

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Written by learfield

July 31, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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