Media Guidelines for Covering a Death by Suicide

Regarding media coverage of suicide death, Dr. Scott Poland warns, “Well documented in the research is the fact that teens are the most susceptible to suicide contagion and that media coverage – especially front page coverage – of a youth suicide, details of the method used, simplistic explanations of the cause of suicide, and printing photos of the suicide victim are key contributions to contagion. The literature also contains numerous references that one a community has experienced one youth suicide that the chances of a second occurrence increase greatly.”

For more information on best practices for media coverage after a death by suicide, see Part 6 of  “Coming Together to Care, A Suicide Prevention and Postvention Toolkit for Texas Communities,”

Another resource from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the American Association of Suicidology Annenberg Policy Center, “Reporting on Suicide Recommendations for the Media,”