More People Are Talking About Suicide. Let’s Make Those Conversations Better

September 30, 2022

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A recent opinion piece offers tips on making the public conversation about suicide more effective. While suicide is being discussed more openly, it is still sometimes characterized as shameful. Using more neutral language, such as “died by suicide,” instead of “committed suicide” can help convey that suicide is a public health concern, not a crime. It is also important to emphasize that suicide is complex and there are multiple factors that may lead to it. Avoid making assumptions about people with mental health diagnoses, such as associating them with violence or instability. When they get the help they need, people who experience suicide or mental illness can and do recover, and our language should reflect that by emphasizing hope and help-seeking.

Spark Extra! Check out the Framework for Successful Messaging.