January 8, 2013
Caution advised on #cutforBieber story
In light of recent events, media professionals may find helpful the following guidelines on the responsible reporting of self-harm:
Avoid detailing the method used in deliberate self-harm or suicide: Information of a graphic nature can have a triggering effect on people in distress and could lead to copycat behaviour.
Avoid publishing dramatic photographs or images related to self-harm or suicide: Often such images depict graphic detail of methods that may be used to complete a suicide which can lead to imitative behaviour by other people at risk.
Please include contact details for sources of help and support in articles related to suicide: This is crucial as people in distress may read your articles.
It is important to always include a 24hr helpline such as Samaritans 1850 609090 www.samaritans.org or email@example.com.
Self-harm and suicide should be reported on as an important means of raising awareness, promoting greater understanding and encouraging those experiencing similar difficulties to reach out and seek the help that they need.
However, a significant body of research exists which demonstrates how certain ways of reporting on suicide and self-harm can lead to copycat behaviour.
It is therefore important to consider the effect which a media portrayal of suicide may have on somebody in distress.
Headline would be happy to provide training or simply advice on the issues involved in reporting on these important issues. Contact 01 8601549, firstname.lastname@example.org or @HeadlineIreland