September is Suicide Prevention Month. For reporters covering suicides, reporting best practices can help to reduce suicide contagion. One study found that there was a 13% increase in deaths following celebrity suicides. Save.org and Cisco have joined forces to support journalists and content creators to reduce the risk of additional suicides by providing this tool to review article text and suggest best practices.
Across the country, local broadcast stations are also using their platforms to raise awareness about suicide prevention resources in their communities. WTWO/WAW in Terre Haute, Ind., interviews local leaders working to reduce the impact of suicide. “Help is always available,” says Missy Burton with Hamilton Center, a local behavioral health system.
Denver’s CBS4 encourages viewers to check in with loved ones. “We want to encourage anyone struggling right now to really engage in social interactions and talk to those trusted people in their lives about what they’re feeling,” says Whitney Kearney, a licensed counselor in Denver.
Chicago’s ABC7 highlights an award-winning film with local ties that aims to “encourage conversation to check on your friends and family and inform them of the help that’s available and to raise awareness of suicide prevention.”
By highlighting local connections and resources and providing the most-trusted information in their local communities, broadcasters have the power to effect meaningful change on issues like suicide prevention. Learn more about broadcasters’ important work around the country at WeAreBroadcasters.com.
If you or someone who know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.