Promote Responsible Media Reporting

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


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


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.

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.


  • 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.