I’m thrilled that our continued relationships between media and suicide prevention professionals has resulted in such an action-oriented resource.”

— Colleen Creighton, AAS Executive Director

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, December 21, 2018 — The American Association of Suicidology (AAS), in partnership with The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, has released an updated, comprehensive, and evidence-based set of recommendations for media organizations and journalists who report on suicide and suicide prevention activities – Suicide Reporting Recommendations: Media As Partners in Suicide Prevention.

“Our team set out to create a resource that values the perspectives of journalists, those with lived experience related to suicide, and mental health professionals. In practice, this document is meant to increase a journalist’s awareness of suicide reporting elements that lead to authentic, meaningful, and responsible stories,” said John Ackerman, clinical psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and suicide prevention coordinator at the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research.

This unique set of recommendations was developed to expand the guidelines in existence, as well as to increase access to an ever-growing, critical resource. The purpose of the toolkit is to provide media professionals with application-based recommendations while also providing background context on the development of why the individual components are important for consideration. The content is meant to empower journalists in their roles as partners with suicide prevention professionals.

“I’m thrilled that our continued relationships between media and suicide prevention professionals has resulted in such an action-oriented resource,” said Colleen Creighton, AAS Executive Director. “The high-profile suicide deaths of this summer and continued media attention to suicide prevention have exemplified the need for evolving thought and understanding to approaching the public about this public health issue.”

A key component of this toolkit is its inclusion in the development process of the voices of those who have survived their own suicide attempts or continue to experience thoughts of suicide. This effort was significantly amplified by the perspectives and experiences of suicide loss survivors and journalism professionals.

For the Media: Responsible reporting on suicide, including stories of hope and resilience, can prevent more suicides. Please visit the Suicide Reporting Recommendations for more information.

About AAS: Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes suicide as a research discipline, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of lay persons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at www.suicidology.org and www.aas365.org.

Colleen Creighton
American Association of Suicidology
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