Movies, television shows, documentaries, music videos, plays, and other types of media portraying suicide can help to raise awareness about this national health problem. Heightened awareness and accurate information about suicide, warning signs, and risk factors can play a powerful role in preventing suicide and decreasing the stigma associated with mental illness.
However, suicide and mental illness are sometimes portrayed in ways that perpetuate myths that can increase the risk of suicide contagion, a phenomenon in which additional, often similar suicides take place following the report of a suicide, presumably inspired by learning about the original suicide.
To help members of the creative community to accurately portray suicide and mental illness in a way that does not spur suicide contagion, the Entertainment Industry Council (EIC), along with AFSP and two-dozen organizations, worked to create the EIC’s Picture This: Depression and Suicide Prevention resource guide. We encourage entertainment writers, editors, and producers to review and follow this guide when addressing mental illness or suicide in their works.
To speak with experts about suicide in the entertainment world, or for more information about safe reporting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 363-3500 Ext. 2027.