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PAPYRUS - prevention of young suicide
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Media information

PAPYRUS and the Media

PAPYRUS seeks to establish positive relationships

with reputable journalists and broadcasters. Through the media we can convey key messages to the maximum number of people. For instance - we need the public to know that although many people think about suicide, only a small number actually attempt to take their own lives, and of these only a small proportion go on to kill themselves. The key message is that suicide is preventable and we would hope that all media coverage of this subject conveys a message of optimism and hope.

Communicating feelings and listening to what people are saying helps to strengthen coping skills and can provide opportunities for exploring different ways of dealing with stress and adversity. We recommend that written articles and media broadcasts should always be supported by contact details of voluntary and statutory services which can offer help.

There is ample evidence that using sensational or 'heroic' themes in reporting suicides can lead to copy-cat attempts. Examples of copy-cat suicides have been recorded all over the world as well as in the UK.

'Media of all kinds have a significant impact on our behaviour. There is evidence that reporting of suicide in the media can increase the rate of suicide, especially among young people already at risk. By limiting some aspects of the reporting of suicide and by portraying it in ways which may discourage imitation, the media can make an important contribution to prevention'
(National Strategy for the Prevention of Suicide in England; Goal 4)

The media plays a key role in portraying how society perceives mental health issues generally and suicidal behaviour in particular. PAPYRUS works to support and assist media professionals in challenging the myths and stigma around this subject.

We can provide journalists and media researchers with information on suicide prevention, particularly in young people. Generally we do not encourage our members to give their detailed personal stories to the media but acknowledge that a family's experience of managing a suicidal person can be instructive to others.

Further Information
Media Guidelines can be downloaded from the Samaritans website here. Follow menu items 'would you like to know more' and 'publications' to find the download link.

Useful information and links for journalists

can be found at the Press Wise Trust web site .

For members

If, because of a personal experience, you have been asked to take part in a written article or media broadcast click here to read PAPYRUS' Media Guidelines for Members.

The Press Complaints Commission is at 1, Salisbury Square London EC4Y 8AE
Telephone - 020 7353 1248 or email: pcc@pcc.org.com
Copies of their Code of Conduct and How to Complain will be sent on request…

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