Suicide bereavement and the media: a qualitative study.
Skehan, J.~~Maple, M.~~et al.
While there has been international interest in the reporting of suicide and the potential impact on community behaviour, research has yet to consider the specific impact of media reporting on those bereaved by suicide. Nor has the research considered the potential impact that reports focussed on suicide bereavement may have on community behaviour. The suicide bereavement literature has generally focussed on describing the unique experiences and needs of people bereaved by suicide, but specific considerations, such as interaction with the media, are generally absent from the discussion. In the present study a series of focus groups with people bereaved by suicide and key informant interviews with media professionals, postvention workers, police, coroners and people bereaved by suicide were conducted. Results show that there can be considerable variation in how people bereaved by suicide view media coverage and the reported impacts that exposure to, or involvement in, stories about suicide can have. It highlights a need to consider resources and service models to brief and support those bereaved by suicide when interacting with the media and expansion of current resources and training for journalists that considers the challenges of interacting with people who are bereaved.