Language

Certain language may be problematic when discussing suicide.

Inaccurate language can alienate members of the community or inadvertently present suicide as glamorous or as an option for dealing with problems.

Mindframe's language guide was developed to support anyone communicating about suicide to the public to minimise risks on vulnerable audiences.

The guide also highlights phrases and language, which may be problematic, especially in perpetuating negative stereotypes.

Consider the language you use

Issue Problematic Preferred

Presenting suicide as a desired outcome

'successful suicide', 'unsuccessful suicide'

'died by suicide', 'took their own life'

Associating suicide with crime or sin

'committed suicide', 'commit suicide'

'took their own life', 'suicide death'

Sensationalising suicide

'suicide epidemic'

'increasing rates', 'higher rates'

Language glamourising a suicide attempt

'failed suicide', 'suicide bid'

'suicide attempt', 'non-fatal attempt'

Gratuitous use of the term 'suicide'

'political suicide', 'suicide mission'

refrain from using the term suicide out of context