Media Guidelines on Suicide Reporting – India

The recent suicide of popular actor Sushant Singh Rajput has brought to light how ill informed the press is regarding sensible reporting of suicide and how efforts have to be made to spread suicide awareness and prevent copycat suicides.

WHO Guideline on Suicide Reporting Emphasises on the following points:

Quick reference for media professionals

• Take the opportunity to educate the public about suicide
• Avoid language which sensationalizes or normalizes suicide,
or presents it as a solution to problems
• Avoid prominent placement and undue repetition of stories
about suicide
• Avoid explicit description of the method used in a completed
or attempted suicide
• Avoid providing detailed information about the site of a
completed or attempted suicide
• Word headlines carefully
• Exercise caution in using photographs or video footage
• Take particular care in reporting celebrity suicides
• Show due consideration for people bereaved by suicide
• Provide information about where to seek help
• Recognize that media professionals themselves may be
affected by stories about suicide

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