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Promote Responsible Media Reporting

Promote responsible reporting and accurate portrayals of suicidal behavior, mental health conditions and substance abuse in the media.

 




Objective:
   Reduce suicide contagion through communications media by providing editors with guidelines for reporting suicide and suicide prevention resource information.

WHAT VERMONT CAN DO

Individuals & Families:

  • Teach youth to use social media and emerging technology to build positive social and
    interpersonal relationships.
  • Talk to children and youth about social media – discuss the effects of cyber-bullying and other aspects of social media such as public gossiping that may exacerbate a pre-existing mental health condition.
  • Write letters to media outlets when you see inaccurate, misleading or insensitive portrayals of suicide.

Organizations:
Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses

  • Publish articles on suicide prevention
    measures, how to get help, and how to
    support someone who is at risk.
  • Train journalists about guidelines for safe reporting and the long-term, unintended consequences of reporting about suicide.
  • Encourage and recognize news organizations that develop and implement policies and practices addressing the safe and responsible reporting of suicide and other related behaviors.

Schools, Colleges, and Universities:

  • Encourage journalism programs to include the recommended guidelines in their curricula guidance on the portrayal and reporting of mental health, suicide, and suicidal behaviors.

Healthcare:

  • Inquire of young patients about their relationship with social media and if it affects their mood and health, encouraging them to talk to their parents.  

Policy and Systems:

  • Encourage news reports on suicide to observe recommended guidelines in the depiction of suicide and mental health conditions.
  • Review media recommendations regularly to incorporate the most up-to-date information.