Suicide coverage discussion

APPLETON – Suicide and how the media reports it was the focus of a meeting in Appleton Thursday.

More than two dozen mental health professionals met with editors from area radio, newspaper and television stations, including FOX 11.

Issues such as words that are used, research, services available to those contemplating suicide, and prevention efforts were discussed.

But beyond what the media or mental health professionals can do, some experts say raising awareness of mental health issues can help prevent suicides.

“They often have trouble finding the energy to ask for help, so that’s why it’s so important for others to be observant and to reach out and say ‘How are you doing, how can I help?'” said Kathleen Fuchs, N.E.W. Mental Health Connection.

The website reportingonsuicide.org claims research shows news coverage can increase the likelihood of some vulnerable people killing themselves. But the research also shows covering suicide can also change public misconceptions and encourage people to seek help.

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