Media Response as Postvention

A planned and organized media response utilizing safe messaging is a key element of suicide postvention. A media protocol should be developed in advance of a suicide crisis in order to ensure a productive and appropriate response to the media during this time.

Safe messaging in media coverage of suicide is a vital element of preventing suicide contagion, or the spread of suicide. In fact, NAMI states that certain reporting of suicide can increase the risk of suicide attempts by individuals at risk (NAMI, 2018). Thus, media guidelines and protocols should be developed in advance of a crisis in order to ensure safe messaging and promote efforts to limit the spread of contagion.

Important Elements of Media Response:

  • Led by the crisis intervention team
  • Response to the media through a designated media spokesperson with prepared statements
  • Use of safe messaging