Samaritans’ media guidelines for reporting suicide

In August 2020, Samaritans launched the sixth edition of their media guidelines to incorporate the latest research on the impact of reported suicides in the media on suicide rates. On average, more than 6,000 individuals take their own lives by suicide each year across the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). Some of these deaths attract media attention. Suicide is a complex topic and presents a distinct set of challenges for the journalists who report on it. They have to balance a range of factors including what is in the public interest and the risk of encouraging imitative behaviour. At the same time they must guard against intrusion into the grief and shock of the bereaved while considering industry regulation and codes of practice. In addition to their media guidelines, there is also a catalogue of other resources to support the highest standards of coverage of suicide.


Other Guidelines include:

• Suicide facts for journalists
• 10 top tips for reporting suicide
• Guidance for covering youth suicides, clusters and self harm
• Guidance for reporting rail suicides
• Guidance for reporting on inquests for England, Wales and Ireland
• Guidance for working with people bereaved by suicide
• Guidance for reporting on murder suicides
• Guidance for portrayals of suicide and self harm in drama
• Guidance for depictions of suicide and self harm in literature