What emergency workers, health workers, teachers, prison officers, media professionals and employers can do to help prevent suicide

19 February, 2020

Dear Neil & HIFA colleagues,

The recent suicide of a UK TV celebrity means that the story has been covered widely in the media and has 'trended' on social media platforms to the extent that it is hard to avoid.

It is important to encourage responsible reporting in such situations, and it was interesting to discover that WHO has some brief handouts on suicide prevention. I thought I'd share these here: https://www.who.int/health-topics/suicide/campaign-materials-handouts [*see note below]

Note, however, that the date of publication is unclear.

As well as guidance for the media, there is guidance for health workers. There are also a number of guidance documents linked here: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/preventing-suicide-a-resource-se...

HIFA colleagues may be aware of more up-to-date information that would be worth sharing.

Best wishes


HIFA profile: Julie N Reza is a UK-based specialist in communications for biosciences, global health & international development (www.globalbiomedia.co.uk). She predominantly works with NGOs and not-for-profit organisations. Previously she was the senior science editor at TDR, based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; prior to this she worked at the Wellcome Trust, UK, leading educational projects on international health topics including trypanosomiasis and trachoma. She has a PhD in immunology and a specialist degree in science communication. She also has several years research and postgraduate teaching experience. She is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and HIFA Social Media Working Group. www.hifa.org/people/steering-group



Email: naimareza AT hotmail.com

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): The link goes to six posters, one of which is for journalists and others writing about suicide, which states: 'Media reports have the potential to either strengthen or damage suicide prevention efforts. Research shows that while media reports about suicide can increase suicide risk, because of imitative (copycat) suicides, responsible reporting about suicide can help educate the public about suicide and its prevention, offer hope to people at risk, reduce stigma and inspire an open and positive dialogue.']