3.DO emphasize the vital importance o amily supportand acceptance—not just as a actor that can helpprotect against suicide, but also as a crucial part o nurturing the emotional and psychological well-beingo LGBT and questioning youth.
Family acceptancebuilds and supports the health and well-being o LGBTyouth. Discussions that ollow youth suicide deathspresent an important opportunity to remind people—and amilies o LGBT youth in particular—o howimportant it is to love, embrace and accept their entirechild or all o who they are.
4.DON’T include details o a suicide death in titles orheadlines.
Headlines are oten the only things peopleread, and the need to make them short and attention-grabbing can lead to an emphasis on messages thatcan increase contagion risk. Also, headlines are otenthe only things that appear on social media outlets likeFacebook, where contagion risks can also be elevated(see
Talking About Suicide in Social Media
5.DON’T describe the method used in a suicide death.
Research shows that detailed descriptions o a person’ssuicide death can be a actor in leading vulnerableindividuals to imitate the act.
6.DON’T attribute a suicide death to experiencesknown or believed to have occurred shortly beorethe person died.
The underlying causes o most suicidedeaths are complex and not always immediatelyobvious. Making hasty assumptions about those causes,even when based on comments rom amily or riendsor media reports, can result in statements that are laterproven to be inaccurate. Don’t risk perpetuating alseor misleading inormation by jumping to conclusionsabout the reasons or a particular suicide death. Also,directly attributing a suicide to bullying or anothernegative lie event can increase contagion risk amongvulnerable individuals who have similar experiences.
7.DON’T normalize suicide by presenting it as the logi-cal consequence o the kinds o bullying, rejection,discrimination and exclusion that LGBT people otenexperience.
Presenting suicide as the inexplicable act o an otherwise healthy LGBT person—or drawing a direct,causal link between suicide and the bullying or discrimi-nation that LGBT people oten ace—can encourage at-risk individuals to identiy with the victim (or the victim’slie circumstances) and increase risk o suicidal behavior.
8.DON’T idealize suicide victims or create an aura o celebrity around them.
Research shows that idealizingpeople who have died by suicide may encourage othersto identiy with the victim or seek to emulate them.
9.DON’T use terms like “bullycide.”
This inaccurate wordsuggests the murder o a bully, not a suicide death.It can also elevate contagion risk by suggesting thatsuicide is a natural response to bullying.
10.DON’T talk about suicide “epidemics.”
This canencourage at-risk individuals to see themselves as parto a larger story and may elevate suicide risk.
11.DON’T use words like “successul,” “unsuccessul” or“ailed” when talking about suicide.
It is extremelydangerous to suggest that non-atal suicide attemptsrepresent “ailure,” or that completed suicides are“successul.” Instead, simply talk about a
. Also avoid the phrase“committed suicide.” The word “committed” is usuallyassociated with a criminal act and can re-victimizesurviving amily. Say
died by suicide
or that the deathwas a
Research Findings on Suicide
Discussions about suicide deaths oten rely heavilyon numbers and statistics. The ollowing research-based ndings may be helpul in understanding thecomplexities o suicide ideation and behavior.
A suicide attempt is not a strong predictor o com-pleted suicide. Four out o ve people (80%) whodie by suicide are male. However, three out o everyour people (75%) who make a suicide attempt areemale.
Suicide rates generally increase with age, with thehighest rates among those in the midlie years.
There is very little solid inormation available aboutsuicide deaths among LGBT people. For this reason,be careul not to misrepresent data on suicideattempts by LGBT people as indicative o LGBTsuicide deaths. The two are not the same.
In U.S. surveys, lesbian, gay and bi adolescents andadults have two to six times higher rates o re-ported suicide attempts compared to comparablestraight people.
Surveys o transgender people consistently reportmarkedly high rates o suicide attempts.
Two key suicide risk actors or LGBT people areindividual-level actors such as depression andexperiences o stigma and discrimination, includinganti-LGBT hostility, harassment, bullying and amilyrejection. There is growing evidence that the twoactors are linked.