Suicide is a tragically common event. Behind every death by suicide is a story and it’s often a story that needs to be told. How the story is told matters. Some headlines in newspapers are not always friendly. They are often stigmatizing and sensationalized. Others have published ReportingOnSuicide.org to provide guidance to journalists.
In the blogging community we have the unique opportunity to use our organic reach to tell the stories that matter to us. How we use words around suicide can have an impact. Bloggers have a voice to be a force for positive change.
From the social work perspective I had the privilege of writing “Let’s Talk About Suicide: #LanguageMatters” with Dr. Jonathan Singer. We reviewed how words around suicide can effect clinical care. The simplest example I can give is saying that one does not “commit” suicide, somebody “dies by suicide”. Committing suicide further stigmatizes and criminalizes the act. This matters not only on a one to one level but a larger level. The media and social media also needs to measure their response to suicide. That language and how stories are crafted can have both a negative and positive impact on our audience.
BloggingOnSuicide.Org provides another unique perspective for those who generate their own content from the ground up. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education have created this wonderful document that not only focuses on language but focuses on critical questions to ask before and after publication. If you are a blogger that has or will write about suicide, please click on the image below to view the resource. As bloggers we have a unique opportunity to change how stories about suicide are told…