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Keeping Everyone Safe - Respoding to a High-Profile Suicide

Many people feel shock and grief at the news of Robin Williams’ death, which is being reported as a suicide. Any person’s death by suicide is a terrible loss for those they touched. People who feel close to someone who died by suicide sometimes become overwhelmed by reminders of their own mental illness or struggles with suicidal thinking. A celebrity’s suicide can bring up these difficult thoughts for many people, especially in the wake of widespread, up-to-the-minute media coverage.

If you are worried about yourself or a loved one’s reaction to a celebrity’s death or other loss, you can get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The hotline is answered by trained counselors who can help if you are in crisis or supporting someone who is.

If you are a reporter, please understand that there are ways in which media coverage of a high profile suicide can lead to suicide contagion. To ensure responsible reporting and help keep people safe, please review these guidelines for reporting and messaging on suicide before you contact sources or write an article. Thank you.


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