CERTAIN ways of presenting and portraying suicide in the media appear to precipitate suicidal behaviour in vulnerable people.
And this evidence has led many countries to develop media guidelines for reporting and portraying suicide, says the Fiji Council of Social Services executive director Mohammed Hassan Khan.
"However, there are few evaluations of these guidelines and there is a need to assess the impact of these guidelines on both reporting practices and suicide rates," he said.
Mr Khan made the comments as the world marks Suicide Prevention Day today, considering suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people in the world.
He said much could be done to promote responsible and informed media coverage of suicide by maintaining, implementing and promoting the use of existing resources.
"It is also important to develop better ways of working collaboratively with the media to disseminate information about suicide and to promote knowledge and information about suicide and mental health in a non-stigmatising manner."
Mr Khan said suicide attempts had serious emotional consequences for families and friends. He said the burden of bereavement by suicide could have a profound and lasting emotional impact on family members.
"The families of those who make suicide attempts are often especially anxious and concerned about the risk of further suicidal behaviour and about the responsibilities in trying to prevent further attempts.
"To be effective, suicide prevention needs to incorporate a multifaceted and inter-sectoral approach which acknowledges the multiple causes and pathways to suicidal behaviour.
"The range of people who can be involved in suicide prevention includes health care professionals, volunteers, researchers, families and others bereaved by suicide or affected by suicidal behaviour."