Reporting a suicide - Public Health Dorset

Reporting a suicide

The following guidance is taken from SamaritansNUJ and World Health Organisation media guidelines for reporting suicide. We recommend reading these in full.

Checklist for reporting a death by suicide:

  • remember suicide is only confirmed by a coroner
  • start with a content warning and support statement
  • use a factual headline like ‘Man dies in Dorset town centre’
  • put the cause of the death, if confirmed, in the story not the headline
  • use factual language from our Wordbook
  • refer to suicide being preventable and include examples of positive coping during moments of crisis
  • use proportionate coverage and placement in your publications
  • consider switching off comments on digital channels
  • do not speculate or repeat others’ speculation
  • do not provide details of the method
  • do not repeat extracts from suicide notes or similar
  • do not provide the exact location or location images
  • do not link to previous stories about suicide

Remember to check our Wordbook for copy, words and phrases for talking about suicide.

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