Suicide Prevention Month: What is the impact public messages have on those at risk of suicide?

Texas suicide lawyer

Suicide Prevention Week will be observed September 9-12, 2020. In addition, September is Suicide Prevention Month. During this time, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) will take the opportunity to educate the public on the importance of being there for those who need the support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Action Alliance will be sending email blasts to its partners in the coming months in order to better equip them with the tools and resources to help spread this message. Moreover, the Action Alliance will raise awareness about the impact of public messages and how they can affect those who are at risk of suicide negatively or positively.

Effective, safe, strategic messaging

Research has found that certain public messages can exacerbate suicide risks among vulnerable people. Positive messages, on the other hand, can encourage at-risk individuals to seek the help they need and never give up.

The Action Alliance discussed its important messaging framework during a 2018 seminar dubbed Developing and Delivering Effective Suicide Prevention Messaging: We All Play A Role. These include:

  • Strategy: Upfront thinking and planning to develop successful and positive messages. The audience and goal of the message should be considered. The message should not only focus on awareness, but also action.
  • Safety: Potentially harmful messages should be avoided. Planners should screen content before sharing it, be consistent, be mindful about sensitive topics, avoid linking suicide risks to certain causes, focus on solutions rather than problems, use prevention-focused data, and avoid stigmatizing language.
  • Positive narrative: The positive aspects of suicide prevention should be highlighted. This can be done by discussing actions people can take to prevent suicide, provide examples on how resilience and prevention works, show that suicide prevention services are available and effective, and avoid negative stereotypes.
  • Guidelines: Planners should follow best practices guidelines after developing an effective, safe and strategic message. There is a wide variety of guidelines that can be found here.

About our law firm

The Law Offices of Skip Simpson is dedicated to helping families of those who died by suicide are who are at risk. We fight to hold negligent parties accountable, especially in inpatient and outpatient settings. Our law firm is based in Texas, but we serve families and communities across the United States. If you lost a loved one to death by suicide because of someone’s negligence or failure to provide the right care or support, contact our firm to discuss your legal options.

Leave a Reply