How the news media covers suicide can either promote hope and help-seeking or increase hopelessness and the risk of contagion.
Our Collaboration with the News Media
The Action Alliance’s Changing the Conversation Priority Group leads work in the priority area of changing the conversation about suicide. The group seeks to improve messaging by focusing on three audiences: media and newsrooms, entertainment, and other organizations that disseminate messages about suicide prevention.
Action Alliance efforts addressing the news media include:
- Supporting the adoption of the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide. Developed by leading experts in suicide prevention, in collaboration with media organizations and many others, this website provides specific guidance to the news media on the accurate and responsible coverage of suicide.
- Cisco, in partnership with Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, recently released the News App for Suicide Reporting (see bottom of this page). For more information about this tool, check out this brief tutorial developed by the National Association of Broadcasters.
- Working with the Poynter Institute to train reporters on ethical and safe reporting practices through a series of institutes supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Convening the expert panel series Stand Together: An Action Alliance Event Series, focusing on suicide in men in the middle years, teenagers and technology, and military/veterans. Broadcast on Google Hangouts, the series received significant attention on social media and attracted numerous participants, leading to rich discussions of suicide, mental health, and hope.
- Bringing together influential communication leads from our national public-private partners to develop coordinated and consistent media messages about suicide prevention.
For recent news and media inquiries, see our News & Media Inquiries page.
Real Stories Initiative
The Action Alliance's Real Stories concept is a collaborative suicide prevention approach for news and entertainment. More information to follow. For immediate questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
News outlets are reminded to use best practices for safely and accurately reporting on suicide.
Knowing how to help others and getting access to care continue to be among top barriers–underscoring urgent need for collective action
While suicide rates likely decreased slightly in 2020, it is still a critical public health issue that needs to be made a national priority