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
'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
(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
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
Useful information and links for journalists can be
found at the Press Wise Trust web site .
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: email@example.com
Copies of their Code of Conduct and How to Complain
will be sent on request…