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Reporting Sandra kanck's speech in SA Parliament on suicide methods
31st August 2006
MEDIA RELEASE
Released on behalf of Sane Australia. Reproduced with Permission


Research shows a clear link between reporting details of suicide methods in the media and increased suicide attempts by vulnerable people.

SANE Australia urgently asks media professionals to be mindful of the national guidelines on this issue when covering Sandra Kanck’s speech in the South Australian Parliament on 30 August 2006. SA Democrat leader, Kanck, used parliamentary privilege to explicitly describe suicide methods, in an act which was ‘irresponsible, foolish and misguided, and could lead to fatal consequences,’ says Barbara Hocking, Executive Director of SANE Australia.

People in despair are often unable to identify solutions to their problems, and influenced by what they see in the media. A report on suicide, particularly one that provides details about methods, can lead those who are vulnerable to take a similar course of action.
- Research shows that reporting suicide methods is directly linked to copycat attempts.
- In reporting Sandra Kanck’s speech, seek expert commentary from mental health professionals (see website below for contacts)
- Include helpline numbers to provide immediate support for those who may be distressed or prompted to act by your story, such as SANE Helpline 1800 18 SANE (7263) or Lifeline 131 114.
- It is not appropriate to use the terms ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’ when reporting suicide.

‘Reporting suicide and mental illness: a resource for media professionals’ is available at www.mindframe-media.info

For comment:

Barbara Hocking    0414 942 553
Paul Morgan          0412 273 693

 

©Released on behalf of Sane Australia. Reproduced with Permission

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