Choose Life’s national campaigns provide the public with information about what can help to prevent suicide. We also work with the media to tackle the stigma surrounding suicide and encourage sensitive reporting.
Keep up-to-date with what's happening in the field of suicide prevention in Scotland by viewing our news articles.
The potential impact of the media on suicide rates has been known for a long time. There is significant evidence from around the world to indicate that highly sensationalised reporting of suicides providing detailed descriptions of method can and does lead to 'copycat' suicides.
The media has an important role to play in educating the public about suicide. With this comes an enormous responsibility to deal with the issue in a sensitive and thoughtful way.
Choose Life has worked with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Scotland to develop NUJ Scotland The reporting of mental health and suicide by the media: a practical guide for journalists (PDF, 536kB) (external link).
Choose Life also endorses Samaritans media guidelines (external link), which include information on ‘copycat’ suicides and social contagion.
The national 'Suicide. Don't Hide it. Talk about it.' campaign tackled the stigma associated with suicide, and encouraged people at risk to talk to someone about feeling suicidal as the first step towards getting help.
This year, the campaign is called ‘Read between the lines’. It calls on everyone to be alert to the warning signs of suicide in their friends, family and workmates.
The message is that if you’re worried about someone, asking directly about their feelings can help to save their life.
We will deliver the campaign message in the following ways:
Suicide Prevention Week is the main platform for delivering the campaign. A week of activities is centred around World Suicide Prevention Day (external link) on 10 September each year.
Insight gathering with the target audience and professionals let us know that the message, tone and style of the campaign materials were relevant and likely to have a positive impact. View the insight gathering report (2007).
Choose Life also undertook a comprehensive review of the literature to identify whether encouraging people to talk about suicidal feelings is associated with any known/identified positive or negative outcomes, and to identify any similar/relevant awareness raising/social marketing campaigns and their impact. Following the launch of the materials in 2008, research was carried out to evaluate overall awareness of the campaign and comprehension of its key messages. View the 2008 campaign evaluation report.
The first TV advert in Scotland to tackle the issue of suicide head-on extended the reach the campaign in 2010 and resulted in extensive media coverage. Access the TV advertising campaign media evaluation report (2010). A follow-up 2010 evaluation of the campaign's impact on the target audience told us that attitudes towards talking about suicide and knowledge about what can help has improved.
0800 83 85 87
08457 90 90 90
Watch our tv advert
You might be interested in ordering resources to spread the message that talking about suicide can help - posters, guidance about talking to someone you think might be having suicidal thoughts and key message cards.
View samples of our ‘Suicide. Don’t hide it. Talk about it.’ resources.
View samples of our ‘Read between the lines’ resources.
If you'd like to order any of these resources, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Increasing awareness and breaking down the stigma of suicide are important to educating the public. If you've been affected by suicide and would be interested in sharing your experiences to help others, please take a look at the becoming a media volunteer page. Training and support are available.