Media Coverage and Effects of Celebrity Suicide
July 25, 2018
The death of a celebrity by suicide can have rippling consequences through society. Because it often has a contagious effect, there are guidelines for how the media should report on and cover these deaths, which include suggestions that persons in crisis reach out for support.
In this Call with the Experts podcast, Raveej Ramchand, Sarah MacCarthy, and Michele Abbott discuss how well these media guidelines are working and whether our crisis system is equipped to effectively respond to surges in help-seeking. They also consider the need for more research on prevention at a time when suicide rates in the U.S. are increasing. RAND's media relations director Jeffrey Hiday moderates the call.
As California seeks to develop a suicide prevention plan, it should keep three goals in mind: Provide better care to those known to be at risk, identify more at-risk individuals who could benefit from services, and create safer environments designed to prevent suicide.
Five-time Grammy winner Mariah Carey is being widely applauded for recently revealing she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001. By openly talking about her mental health struggles, she is helping lift mental illness out of the shadows and bringing attention to how common mental illness can be.
As the national suicide rate continues to rise, many stakeholders are looking within their own communities and asking, “Do we have a suicide problem?” This is a difficult question to answer.
Conventional wisdom about suicide prevention suggests that one just needs to know what warning signs to look for. But that's not the case.