"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Language is vital in stopping suicide.

Of all the problems in psychology, even in all of medication, suicide stands out as the most difficult to debate responsibly in public.

Any suicide is a tragedy. We know that language matters, and that Using supportive and respectful language reduces stigma.Makes it easier to speak more openly and safely about suicide and its prevention.

Suicide is a public health problem, but it surely is commonly discussed in whispers, as if death by suicide is a humiliation to the family or the one who died.

Our society needs to speak more about suicide. Especially suicide preventionBut we want to do it in a way that we don't unintentionally make things worse. The still common phrase “suicide”, for instance, is a reference to past legal regulations and Wrongfully means guilt.

Talk about suicide.

As psychologists and suicide prevention advocates who practice, teach, and research on this area, we're committed to supporting the general public debate about suicide and mental health, especially the controversy that folks It helps to teach and save lives.

We want more people to develop a broader understanding of how one can discover, Support and refer people who are in mental health crisis. And could also be at risk.

It is vital to de-stigmatize mental illness and place it in its proper context as a careful, public health problem.
(Sidney Robert Stacey)

When talking about suicide, we should always avoid terms like “committed”, “successful” or “failed attempts” and as an alternative use direct language like “death by suicide” or “suicide attempt”.

Using “people first” language resembling “person dying by suicide” moderately than “suicide victim” is more neutral and inclusive. and can reduce stigma..

Public discussion about suicide carries risks, and it's critical that communicators are informed, sensitive and warned concerning the possibility that they could unintentionally do the other of what they need and do. Actually promote suicide.

The biggest danger is what we call suicide contagion – the concept specializing in the small print of how someone died by suicide can trigger others who're prone to doing the identical.

The link between public disclosure of details of how a suicide occurred and the resulting “copycat” suicides has long been recognized. Highly publicized suicides, particularly those involving celebrities, are related to an increased risk of self-harm amongst those closely identified with the person.

Media coverage of suicide

The value and risks of discussing suicide are sometimes controversial. In the context of news reporting. It's a very sensitive area that also happens to represent the brink where free expression — even sincere, well-meaning expression — could be dangerous.

It is vital to avoid sensationalist reporting that mistakenly glorifies suicide or discloses information concerning the means and methods that vulnerable people may decide to take, especially when such reporting involves the support available. Don't include substitutes for context and other people facing difficult situations.

On the opposite side of the coin, emerging evidence suggests that the media's optimistic reporting of how people successfully overcome suicide crises. May reduce subsequent efforts..

Broadly speaking, journalistic practice has modified and improved over time.

Journalists have a vital job and it is simply natural that they need to ask outsiders what they'll report.

Likewise, knowledge and practice in mental health care has modified and is improving.

Correcting it

A young man has his back to the camera with his hand on the shoulder of another young man.
We want more people to develop a wider understanding of how one can recognize, support and refer people who find themselves in a mental health crisis and should be in danger.

Like others in our field, we appreciate efforts by journalists to grasp and accommodate medical concerns concerning the potential advantages and consequences of suicide reporting.

Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma created a thoughtful, balanced and well-researched set of journalistic guidelines for covering mental health issues, including suicide; Mind set.

Published by the World Health Organization. Guidelines for reporting suicide in September 2023 they usually are publicly available. The Mayo Clinic offers a helpful document called Eight myths about suicide.

The Public Health Agency of Canada offers a document called Language Matters: Safe Communication for Suicide Preventionwhich provides great information to attract on.

Guidelines from these organizations highlight each the risks of transmission and the advantages of reporting mental health problems Successful intervention and treatment.

Such efforts are a part of a broader and more vital movement to destigmatize mental illness and place it in its proper context as a public health problem.

Yet, we proceed to see articles and reports that don't respect these guidelines. It can be inappropriate to cite them directly here as we can be repeating facts that we strongly feel shouldn't have been reported.

Out within the open

A bucket of rocks inscribed with inspirational messages such as 'You are enough' and 'One step at a time'
Certainly suicide must be understood, so we should always discuss it, and it's vital that we do it openly.
(Sidney Robert Stacey)

We know we lose people. Lack of access to care, because of lack of access and stigma. We know that using healthy language, dispelling myths and facilitating help-seeking has social and community advantages.

It may be very difficult to get it right. Of course, society needs to grasp suicide, so we should always discuss it, and it's vital that we do it openly.

People talk openly about heart attacks, strokes and cancer. They work hard to stop them, raise money, support research and alter their lifestyles to cut back risk.

Although there continues to be some option to go, society's approach to mental health is moving in that direction. We stay up for the day when the myths and stigma surrounding discussing mental illness, especially suicide, are removed and when suicide reporting within the media is balanced and respectful of its impact.