The use of such information has led to the gratuitous reporting of suicide when it comes to method of death. This type of reporting can cause harm and distress to the bereaved and others in vulnerable positions.
The use of language and phraseology in the reporting of suicide is vital in safeguarding against stigmatisation and sensationalism. Every single word and phrase in the story needs to be scrutinised.
The use of the phrase “commit suicide” is unacceptable and is steeped in historical conceptions of suicide as a criminal act. Try “died by suicide” or “killed him/her self” or “took his life” instead
Phrases such as “successful” or “unsuccessful” suicide should not be used, they give a sense of triumph or failure.
Sensational language such as “suicide epidemics” should not be used but instead suicide should be recognised as a public health problem.
Journalists should remember that they have a responsibility to share and inform their audience of the risk factors and also include messages of prevention of suicide.
Detailed language on the method of the suicide should not be included in the story.
Details of the method increases the likelihood of a vulnerable person using the same method to take their own life. Avoid sensational language about the novelty of the suicide method.
The location of the suicide should not be included within the reporting and the reporting of “popular” locations of suicide should not be mentioned. The inclusion of location can provide information for vulnerable people to copy.