Sunday, July 17, 2011

Suicide Prevention Groups Thank Bradley Williams

Suicide prevention: New media guidelines will save lives
Published in The Missoulian, May 13, 2011 

On behalf of the Missoula Suicide Prevention Network and the Ravalli County Suicide Prevention Alliance, we would like to express our appreciation to Bradley Williams for his letter of April 27, outlining responsible suicide reporting guidelines for the media.

Since that letter was published, new guidelines have been released by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The new recommendations were written and endorsed by a task force representing 50 suicide prevention organizations from around the world.

The document reads: “Suicide is a public health issue. Media and online coverage of suicide should be informed by using best practices. Some suicide deaths may be newsworthy. However, the way media cover suicide can influence behavior negatively by contributing to contagion or positively by encouraging help-seeking.” The recommendations can be read at www.ReportingOnSuicide.org.To learn more about suicide in Montana, go to: www.co.missoula.mt.us/healthpromo/

SuicidePrevention or call 258-3881. In a suicide crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Working together we can save lives.

Maureen O’Malley,
Missoula Suicide Prevention Network,
Brian Cherry,
Ravalli County Suicide Prevention Alliance