Safe Messaging (Adapted from: Nami New-Hampshire)

How we talk about suicide can be harmful to a person at risk and can impact our community in a powerful way. Research from several different studies has given us valuable information on practices to avoid because they can be unsafe, increase risk, reinforce unhealthy community norms, stereotype, or are proven counter to prevention best practices and prevention efforts:

Social Media

Screen content before sharing it: Social media posts, event announcements, news articles, movies, video clips, and other materials may contain language, stories, or images that may be upsetting or trigger a painful psychological response.

Facebook also has a site to help prevent suicide. Click here

Talk to Others

Educate others about the importance of safety in public communications about suicide.

Highlight solutions to stigma rather than the problem of stigma.

Printed stories

While not all newsclips need to include statistics, if you want to talk statistics, emphasize that 90% of attempters who survive do NOT go on to die by suicide later. 

 

Statistics might portray suicide as overwhelming and unsolvable. Promote prevention, resources, and help-seeking behavior.

 

discussion

Use terms like "died by suicide," "completed suicide," "killed him/herself" and "attempted suicide," instead of "successful suicide," "unsuccessful suicide," "failed attempt," or "committed suicide."