Thursday, January 25, 2018

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Call 800-273-8255.

If you believe someone is attempting suicide DO NOT DELAY! Call 911 immediately.

About the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

“We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.”

The excerpt below is from “Media Guidelines
For Suicide Reporting

Are you a reporter who is working on a story related to suicide? If so, you may want to be aware of a phenomenon called “media-related suicide contagion.” [emphasis added]
     According to numerous research studies, prominent media stories about suicide are associated with a significant increase in suicide attempts within the media outlet’s coverage area. Adolescents and young adults seem to be especially susceptible to suicide contagion.

Another resource for anyone considering suicide or if you think someone is considering suicide is the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition. They are “A coalition of Floridians for the elimination of suicide in our communities.”

Understand that the First Amendment and news reporting takes on an entirely different perspective when it comes to suicide. It’s long been recognized that news about suicide needs to be handled delicately and with compassion and it’s always a ‘best practice’ to include a lifeline in a news or media report! Someone out there may be watching or reading the news and considering suicide at that moment. A ‘lifeline’ in your news report may be the thing that saves their life.

Those ‘best practices for professionals’ include reporters and journalists in the press and news media:

“SPJ’s [Society of Professional Journalists] Code of Ethics tells journalists that they have an obligation to report the truth. They also have an obligation in minimizing the harm that’s done in the pursuit of that truth.
     When it comes to suicides, a careful and deliberate moral reasoning needs to take place aside from the First Amendment right to report. Families don’t care about your rights when they are grieving.
     That’s why compassionate and responsible journalism is necessary and why cautious deliberation is needed.”

—Quote. Kevin Z. Smith, Deputy Director, The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.