Providing help-seeking information

The inclusion of help-seeking information into communication about suicide encourages individuals to seek help and support when it's needed.

Evidence indicates that people are more likely to seek help when appropriate services are included in communication referencing suicide or self-harm.

Help-seeking pathways extend beyond calling a support line or meeting with a counsellor, with the emergence of texting services, downloadable resources and online community forums.

No matter how the individual obtains information referencing suicide, it is vital to always include 24/7 support services so they can reach out for support in a way that suits their individual needs.

What sort of help-seeking information should be included?

  • two support services that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • provide direct links to services in online content
  • include information around at least one online support service or forum
  • other service contacts where people can get information.
  • include relevant information to the particular content e.g. demographic, state or cultural diversity.

Media, communications and public relations professionals have a duty of care to their audience to ensure stories about suicide and self-harm do not impact negatively on vulnerable people.

The inclusion of help-seeking information and 24/7 support services in all content or discussions of suicide, whether it be print, broadcast, online or social media will allow people to seek help and support when it's needed.

When including help-seeking into reporting or communications, consider tailoring the information to suit different media channels, empowering the audience to reach out for support if and when they need to.

The suicide prevention and mental health sector can contribute significantly to the promotion of help-seeking behaviour by supporting the inclusion of help-seeking information in all content or discussions of suicide.

This includes internal and external content, which discusses suicide such as presentations, videos, marketing collateral, commentary via social media and interviews with media.

By advocating for the inclusion of information when interviewed by media, the sector can assist in encouraging media to consistently provide relevant help-seeking information to vulnerable audiences.