Showing posts from May, 2019

On Responsible Media Reporting of Suicides

INTRODUCTION In recent times, a cursory glance at popular media will reveal an increase in the number of people who die by suicides. While this does not necessarily point to a rise in the incidence or prevalence of suicides, the increased reporting reiterate the message public mental health professionals have been preaching for years, that suicide is a public health problem. Although these 'anecdotal’ reports may have the advantage of increasing awareness of suicides, depression, mental illnesses and other mental health issues; inappropriate reporting of suicides may increase the risk of suicide attempts among vulnerable groups-these include people with mental disorders, behavioural problems with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, those who have attempted suicide in the past, marginalized persons and groups that experience discrimination, etc. Studies globally have revealed that certain types of news coverage can increase the likelihood of suicide in vulner