Elevating Media’s Role in Preventing Suicide Contagion

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Entertainment Industries Council elevates the conversation around suicide prevention with tools to help social media communicators and professional journalists

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...[Media] is an extremely powerful force in American culture, one that creates awareness and can ultimately have a positive influence, particularly when communicating messages that deal with a very real public health issue like suicide and prevention.

The Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) is joining the conversation around suicide prevention, with LiveScience.com.

“As we know, the media plays a constructive role in informing its audience, and at times, even educating viewers. It is an extremely powerful force in American culture, one that creates awareness and can ultimately have a positive influence, particularly when communicating messages that deal with a very real public health issue like suicide and prevention,” said Brian Dyak, President & CEO, EIC

With the passing of admired public figures, such as actor and comedian Robin Williams, many reporters, journalists, bloggers and beloved fans go to the media to express their sincere grief and emotions over this unexpected loss. And although much of the outpouring respectfully highlights the positive impact these individuals had on lives, there are still too many examples that focus heavily on the methods and details surrounding the manner in which he or she died. The emphasis on a suicide and the details associated with it, instead of remembering an individual's legacy and promoting suicide prevention, has the potential of encouraging suicide contagion, rather than elevating the conversation around prevention.

To help reduce suicide contagion, the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) has created Social Media Guidelines and a Journalist Style Guide to counter the stigma, reduce discrimination, and emphasize the importance of meaningful communication. To learn more about suicide contagion and the importance of spreading awareness to prevent it, go to http://www.livescience.com/47857-suicide-spikes-with-media-coverage.html.

About Entertainment Industries Council
EIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders within the entertainment industry to bring the power and influence of the industry to communicate about health and social issues. The organization is considered to be the chief pioneer of entertainment and journalism outreach and a premiere success story in the field of entertainment education. This mission relies on providing resource information to the creative community and culminates in recognition of the industry through the national television special PRISM Showcase, which addresses accurate portrayals of substance use issues and mental health concerns. The organization also produces the SET Awards, honoring positive and non-stereotypical portrayals of science, engineering, and technology. For a complete list of health and social issues addressed by EIC and local projects, please visit First Draft and EIC’s website. EIC’s website is http://www.eiconline.org. The PRISM Awards website is http://www.prismawards.com.

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