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WHO gives guidelines on suicide to govts

Published : Sep 12, 2017, 1:59 am IST
Updated : Sep 12, 2017, 6:23 am IST

Says public must be taught about facts, prevention.

Psychiatrists say that the media play a vital role while reporting suicide news.
 Psychiatrists say that the media play a vital role while reporting suicide news.

Mumbai: In the light of the growing instances of suicides, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued guidelines for reporting cases of persons with suicidal tendencies. With the city and state seeing a rise in the number of suicides in the past two months, it is pertinent to see how the state and police authorities are coping with such incidents, what measures are being implemented to curtail them and whether the WHO guidelines are being conformed with and how they aim to create a system to help the public identify and reduce such incidents, especially the ones involving youngsters.

The WHO guidelines, under its ‘Dos’, state, “Providing accurate help, educate the public about the facts of suicide and suicide prevention, without spreading myths report the stories how to cope with the stressors or suicidal thoughts, do apply particular caution when reporting celebrity suicides.” Its ‘Don’ts’ states, “Don’t place stories about suicide prominently and do not unduly repeat such stories, don’t use language which sensationalises or normalises suicide or presents it as a constructive solution to problems, don’t explicitly describe the method used, don’t use sensational headlines, don’t use photographs, video footage or social media links.”

Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla, head of psychiatry at state-run GT Hospital, said, “The media play a vital role while reporting the news on suicides, People who are suicidal are relieved to talk to anyone who is willing to listen empathetically. We need concrete awareness programmes to educate the public about people who have suicidal tendencies thorough the media. The media should persistently focus on helplines and offering assistance to people who are in need. There is a need to train teachers, policemen, social workers and youth volunteers on how to recognise if someone has made up his mind on suicideand what to do in such circumstances..r Matcheswalla said.

Tags: world health organisation (who), suicide