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Awareness and Safe Messaging Resources


Materials on how to craft and promote suicide prevention messages and a few examples of awareness materials.

Adding power to our voices: A framing guide for communicating about injury
Includes framing theory, message development techniques and vehicles for explaining public health statistics.

Child survivors of suicide: A guidebook for those who care for them
Physical Location/Acquisition Information: Available for $10.00/copy from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention online store. Also available in Spanish. This 20 page paperback guide offers guidance for family members, educators and others who interact with young survivors.
Dealing with suicide-related curriculum
This information sheet provides guidance on dealing with suicide themes in traditional coursework, such as the play Romeo and Juliet, and how to manage the emotions of students who may have been personally affected by suicide.
Developing and marketing your suicide prevention message: A strategic approach (Presentation)
This presentation describes social marketing principles, provides a strategic planning model, discusses what is unique about suicide prevention messages, and examines some examples of messaging developed by colleges and universities.
Guide to engaging the media in suicide prevention
This 44-page guide teaches you how to serve as an effective media spokesperson and how to generate media coverage to create awareness of suicide prevention. The publication describes how to use television, radio, and print media and provides examples of press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, op-eds and more. It also gives tips for identifying appropriate media outlets, creating up-to-date media lists, and tracking your results.


Guidelines for selecting a video on youth suicide prevention

This brochure recommends how to choose an instructional video as one part of a comprehensive suicide prevention curriculum for teaching basic skills and concepts to youth. The Best Practices Registry (BPR) is mentioned as a resource for selecting a youth suicide prevention curriculum. this resource has been included in Section II of the AFSP/SPRC Best Practices Registry (BPR). To learn more about Section II, Expert/Consensus Statements, and link to a profile of the guide, visit

Ideas for Suicide Prevention Week
A list of 14 program and activity ideas to perform for suicide prevention week or anytime throughout the year.
Is myth-busting counterproductive?
A poster presented at the 2008 American Association of Suicidology (AAS) Conference. The purpose of this poster is to (1) highlight recent research on the possible negative impact of 'myth-busting' as a communication method, (2) suggest recommendations for suicide prevention materials, and (3) provide recommendations for future research.
Lifeline online postvention manual
Physical Location/Acquisition Information: Case examples are available by emailing MHA of NYC at The recommendations in this manual detail how to safely memorialize someone who has died by suicide. These guidelines can be applied to online memorials and online messages about the deceased.
Links in Spanish
This sheet lists links to public information materials in Spanish language on mental health and suicide, including two specific to suicide among adolescents: â Understanding Suicide: The Basicsâ and â Suicide Prevention: A Parent and Teen Guide to Recognizing Suicide Warning Signs.â
The nomenclature of suicidology: What's in a name? (SPRC Discussion Series)
A presentation on the use of terminology when discussing suicide and suicidal behavior. The Research to Practice Webinar webpage contains an author biography, PowerPoint slides, and an audio file of the discussion.
Parent information sheets
This webpage, which includes seven multiple media links, relates stories of parents who have lost a child to suicide and provides guidance to parents on how to talk to their teens about suicide, suicide contagion, or the death of a friend by suicide.
Picture this: Depression and suicide prevention
Picture This is a guide for creators in the entertainment industry which addresses issues within the realm of depression and suicide prevention, as identified by mental health experts, advocates, policy-makers, and others working to improve public awareness about and reduce instances of depression and suicide.
Response to the myth that talking about suicide will "plant the idea"
This brief essay summarizes evidence supporting the position that talking about suicide does not increase risk but serves to prevent it.
Safe and effective messaging for suicide prevention
A 2-page document that offers evidence-based recommendations for creating safe and effective messages to raise public awareness that suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem is now available. Contains Do�s and Don�ts for creating public messages for suicide prevention.
School memorials after suicide: Helpful or harmful?
This issue brief draws from the research to provide guidance for responding to suicide in a manner that supports grieving while mitigating contagion.
Strategic communication planning: A workbook for Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act state, tribal, and campus grantees
This manual uses the 8-Step Communication Planning Model to provide a blueprint for site-specific, actionable communication plans. The model is based on the theory and practice of social marketing, which adapts commercial marketing techniques
Suicide awareness event resource kit
A logistics planning guide and general and state specific materials to help you organize, plan and conduct a successful event to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention. The kit contains sample publicity materials, state and national data sheets, and legislative information.
Suicide clusters and contagion: Recognizing and addressing suicide contagion are essential to successful suicide postvention efforts This article describes the problem of contagion and the ways that administrators can act to prevent it by establishing a crisis team, recognizing and monitoring at-risk students, and mobilizing community-wide responses.
Suicide prevention: Information for individuals and families
Brochure that contains 12 prevention tips geared toward individuals who have suicidal thoughts and for their loved ones. Includes a space to write in local/personal emergency phone numbers.
Suicide threats on social networking sites
With more people using Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, there has been an increase in the incidence of individuals at risk using these media to voice thoughts of suicide. The article, Suicide threats on social network sites, discusses this emerging issue and offers basic guidelines on how social media users and host sites can respond.
Talking about suicide and LGBT populations
A consortium of organizations issued these recommendations to guide both news and social media in safe reporting of suicide events among LGBT populations that may be related to bullying. The recommendations are intended to promote vital, thoughtful public discussion about the issue and prevent contagion associated with sensational language.

Understand suicide: Outlining basic characteristics

This information sheet provides a definition of suicide and five points discussing reasons why students can consider suicide as a way to alleviate emotional pain.