Talking suicide safely Wordbook - Public Health Dorset

Talking suicide safely Wordbook

In this section you'll find copy, words and phrases for talking about suicide safely.


In this section:

Content warning and signposting to support

Signposting to support for media statements

Copy and links for additional support services

Reporting a suicide or suicide attempt

Talking to and about people at risk of suicide

Talking about support


Content warning and signposting to support statement


Use a statement like the one below, before your content so your audience can choose whether or not to view it and be signposted to the right support.

“The following content can be distressing for some people as it mentions suicide. If this affects you, do contact [insert details of internal support services] or any of these services which are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day.

  • NHS Connection: Dorset’s mental health helpline on 0800 652 0190
  • Samaritans: for whatever you are going through on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • SHOUT: for anyone in crisis text SHOUT to 85258

If you prefer to speak to someone in person, you can visit Community Front Rooms and The Retreats across Dorset. Search ‘Access Mental Health Dorset’ online. If someone’s life is at risk call 999.”

 

Signposting to support statement


Sometimes it is not practical to start with a content warning or use one at all, in which case a statement like the one below should be used to signpost the audience to the right support.

“Anyone who is experiencing mental health problems, or is worried about someone else, can contact these services which are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day.

  • NHS Connection: Dorset’s mental health helpline on 0800 652 0190
  • Samaritans: for whatever you are going through on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • SHOUT: for anyone in crisis text SHOUT to 85258

If you prefer to speak to someone in person, you can visit Community Front Rooms and The Retreats across Dorset. Search ‘Access Mental Health Dorset’ online. If someone’s life is at risk call 999.”

 

Copy and links for additional support services


Our Suicide help web page provides comprehensive copy and links for audiences:

  • struggling now or worried about someone else
  • approaching crisis point
  • needing less urgent support 

 

Talking about a suicide or suicide attempt

Say:

  • the name of the person not the victim, suicide victim or body
  • died or death by suicide, taken or ended their own life not committed suicide or successful suicide
  • Coroner's conclusion not Coroner's verdict
  • the cause of death only when confirmed by the Coroner and not the method
  • factual and generalised location of the death, not drawing attention to specific locations and not suicide spot, hot spot, known spot, notorious site or iconic site
  • suicide is preventable, a tragic waste, an avoidable loss
  • increasing suicide rates not epidemic, spate , wave or cluster (unless confirmed as a cluster)
  • suicide attempt not unsuccessful or failed suicide, suicide bid or cry for help
  • overdose not cocktail of drugs and do not name individual drugs
  • discharged from hospital not released from hospital
     

Do not say:

  • suicide pact
  • died instantly or suicide method was quick, easy, painless or effective

 

Talking to and about people at risk of suicide


Phrases used by mental health organisations for campaign messaging:

  • if your life is at risk right now
  • at risk of suicide
  • having suicidal thoughts
  • if you feel unable to keep yourself safe, (it's a mental health emergency)
  • not in a good place
  • having a really rough, tough or hard time
  • need to talk
  • not feeling great
  • facing crisis or reaching crisis point
  • someone we’re worried about
  • whatever you are going through
  • struggling with your mental health
  • can be difficult to reach out to help
  • every life is valuable

 

Talking about support


Phrases used by mental health organisations for campaign messaging:

  • emotional support
  • we want to help you stay safe
  • always someone to talk to / listen
  • it’s okay to talk about (money or other) worries and their impact on our mood
  • mental health emergencies are serious, you're not wasting anyone's time
  • if you or someone you care about could reach crisis point, it’s important to have a plan
  • if talking to family or friends isn’t comfortable or for expert support, call NHS Connection for you or someone you’re  worried about, anywhere in Dorset
  • Samaritans, whatever you are going through, a Samaritan will face it with you.
  • Text 'SHOUT' to 85258, it’s the place to go if you’re struggling for help

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