Be aware that everyone is entitled to privacy, including those who have died by suicide. Where possible, ask for permission from a family member of the deceased before posting or sharing content about another person and only 'share'
their personal information if you have permission to do so.
If you know someone who has died by suicide, be aware that their family members or friends might see your post about their loved one’s death.
Talking about someone who has died by suicide
If you know someone who has died by suicide, be aware that their family members or friends might see your 'post' about their loved one’s death. They are likely to be grieving and struggling with a range of intense feelings, so it’s important to be sensitive to those feelings and careful with the language you use.
If you are writing or sharing a post about someone who has died by suicide, only post what you know to be true and encourage others to do the same. You should avoid:
There are many complex factors that lead to someone feeling suicidal, so it is important to communicate about suicide in a safe way.
There are many complex factors that lead to someone feeling suicidal, so it is important to 'communicate about suicide' in a safe way. This is particularly important when communicating online, because the information you 'share' can reach tens of thousands of people extremely quickly. It is possible that some people, who already feel vulnerable, may engage in copycat suicide behaviour or may be negatively affected following exposure to suicide-related content online. Particularly when the content is extensive, exaggerates, or sensationalises suicide; repeats myths or misperceptions about suicide; or presents suicide in a positive or glorified way.
This page offers some general tips for communicating about suicide. This includes some things that are unhelpful, as well as helpful alternatives that you could use.
Don’t use words that describe suicide as criminal or sinful. This may suggest to someone that what they are feeling is wrong or unacceptable, or make someone worry that they'll be judged if they ask for help.
Don’t use words that glamourise, romanticise, or make suicide seem appealing.
Don’t use words that trivialise or make suicide seem less complex than it really is.
Don’t sensationalise suicide.
Don’t use judgmental phrases which reinforce myths, stigma, stereotypes or suggest nothing can be done about suicide.
Don’t provide detailed information about the actual suicide or suicide attempt.
Don’t describe suicide as a desirable outcome.
Celebrity suicides often receive a lot of attention online and it's common for people to read and share stories from a number of different feeds and sources.
Celebrity suicides often receive a lot of attention online. It is common for people to read and 'share' stories from a number of different feeds and sources.
Too much exposure to the suicide of a celebrity or other well-known public figure can be upsetting and may lead to 'copycat suicide'. Therefore, when 'communicating about suicide' of a celebrity, the following is advised:
video coming soon
Setting up a page or group to remember someone who has died can be a good way to share stories and receive and provide support
There may be times when you want to set up a website, page or closed group to memorialise a person who has died by suicide. Setting up a page or group to remember someone who has died can be a good way to 'share'
stories and receive and provide support. But there is also the potential that certain content could negatively impact the thoughts and feelings of others. For this reason, some concerns have been raised about the potential for copycat suicides. If you create a page or closed group to memorialise someone who has died by suicide, there are a few things that you can do to make the memorial page or group safe for others. These include:
Social media platforms often encourage the use of images, photos, videos and other multimedia. However, these can sometimes have unintended harmful consequences
Interacting with others through comments and posts is a key element of engaging with others online.
If you have made a 'post' that refers to suicide or suicidal behaviour, or you have shared or replied to a post that involves suicide-related content, it can be helpful to monitor your post regularly for unsafe or harmful comments or content.
Here are some examples of harmful content:
If you, as the administrator, decide to suspend, delete or block a user, let the person know you are concerned about their behaviour and clearly and carefully explain the reasons why you are concerned to the 'user'.
There may be times when members of the memorial page indicate that they are struggling or are feeling distressed. These tips will help you feel equipped to respond
There may be times when members of the memorial page indicate that they are struggling or are feeling distressed.
People who have experienced the suicide of a close friend or loved one may experience different stages of grief at different periods of time and reach out to others on the memorial page for support themselves.
In addition to the guidelines on responding to someone who may be at risk of suicide, administrators could consider developing a standard template for responding to members in distress. These tips will help you create a template:
Have a plan in place about what to do if a person indicates that they are feeling distressed as a result of your post.
You might find it helpful to have a plan in place about what to do if a person indicates that they are feeling distressed as a result of your 'post'.
For example, you could provide them with information about or a link to a support service such as a suicide prevention or counselling helpline.
If you include links to support services, they should be placed clearly at the beginning of your post and only include services that you know are reputable.
It can also be helpful to emphasise parts of your experience that demonstrate the importance of seeking help early and messages that reduce stigma and promote hope and recovery. Some examples include:
☎️ Online and phone support services
📔 Social media platform resources
☎️ Call 000
For less urgent assistance, contact one of the following support services.
Provides free 24/7 telephone, online, and video counselling and crisis support to all Australians affected by suicide.
☎️ Call 1300 659 467
🌏️ Visit suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Provides free 24/7 online and phone personal crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians.
☎️ Call 13 11 14
🌏️ Visit lifeline.org.au
Provides free and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling for children and young people aged between five and 25 years.
☎️ Call 1800 551 800
🌏️ Visit kidshelpline.com.au
Provides email, chat and phone counselling for young people aged between 12 and 25 years. eheadspace operates seven days a week, from 9:00am to 1:00am AEDST.
☎️ Call 1800 650 890
🌏️ Visit eheadspace.org.au
Australian suicide prevention resources available through different 'social media' platforms.
Facebook Help Centre has a number of tools to help people who have come across suicide-related material. The Suicide Prevention Help Centre provides information on how to report suicide content to a trained member of their safety team who will identify the 'post' and the location of the 'user'. If necessary, they can contact emergency services to assist those at risk of suicide or self-harm. The Suicide Prevention Help Centre also provides information on country-specific suicide prevention helplines to assist people who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviour.
Instagram Help Centre provides details to assist users to report content that suggests a person may be at risk of suicide or self- harm. Users can report content by
The help centre also provides links to suicide prevention websites and hotlines that can assist people during a suicidal crisis.
Snapchat Support Centre recommends users who are concerned about a fellow user encourage the person to seek help or consult with a professional service. If users don’t feel comfortable engaging with the person who may be at risk of suicide, they can report a safety concern by:
Twitter Help Centre provides information on how to report self-harm and suicide-related content to a trained team devoted to responding to people who share content that suggests they may be at risk of self-harm or suicide. Information on how to recognise the signs of self-harm and suicide are provided, as well as an online form to alert the Twitter suicide prevention response team.