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Suicide Narratives in the News Media: What Effect Might They Have and What Can We Do?

Date/Time (ET): 
August 4, 2011 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Led By: 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center

The news media do more than report facts, they tell stories about events and people. These narratives can influence public perceptions about issues, including their causes and appropriate solutions. For example, extensive news coverage of suicides among LGBT youth, military service members, and individuals affected by the U.S. economic crisis has created a basic storyline or narrative about how and why suicide happens in each of these groups. While there is no direct research linking suicide narratives to attempted or completed suicide, the existing literature suggests the potential for this type of coverage to have negative effects on vulnerable individuals. This webinar will define the concept of media narratives, summarize relevant research and theory, and suggest approaches for influencing these narratives.