Media and public speaking about suicide

Life in Mind supports safe communications about suicide and mental ill-health. It is important that media reporting, portrayals and communication, focus on safe and responsible coverage to minimise harm to vulnerable audiences.

Mindframe

The mental health and suicide prevention sector serve as an important source of information on suicide to the Australian public.

There are safe ways to communicate about suicide, ensuring any risks are managed while increasing community awareness and understanding of suicide and its contributing factors.

As part of capacity building for the sector and to encourage help-seeking behaviour, Mindframe has national guidelines for the discussion, communication and publication of content, which references suicide.

Mindframe guidelines

  • Mindframe's national guidelines were developed to support safe and accurate media reporting, portrayal and communication of suicide.

Language

  • Language can contribute to alienating members of the community or inadvertently presenting suicide as glamorous or as an option for dealing with problems.

Discussion of suicide details

  • When it comes to communication which references suicide it is important to minimise details about, method and location.

For public speakers

  • Guidelines for public speakers when communicating about suicide and its impacts to their audience.

Support for lived experience speakers

  • Lived experience speakers play an important role in representing community understanding of suicide and its impacts.

Self-care

  • Due to the sometimes distressing nature of suicide reporting, media and communications professionals should adopt self-care activities to ensure they safeguard their health and wellbeing.