Being Mindful of the Way We Talk About Suicide

The recent untimely death of Robin Williams shed new light on suicide, depression and other mental health issues. The media coverage of his death called attention to both proper and improper ways reports of suicide should be handled by the press. Some reporters focused on how Williams died. Others questioned why someone so successful and wealthy wanted to die. Some political pundits and religious zealots tried to place blame. One even called Williams a coward. Another referred to him as a sinner. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), along with a number of other organizations, has written guidelines for the media to follow when reporting on suicide.