Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Covid-19: Trends in suicide

Researchers must contribute to responsible reporting of suicide

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 08 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n351
  1. Duleeka Knipe, vice chancellor’s Elizabeth Blackwell Institute research fellow1,
  2. Keith Hawton, professor of psychiatry2,
  3. Mark Sinyor, associate professor3,
  4. Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, associate professor4
  1. 1Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2PS, UK
  2. 2Centre for Suicide Research, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  3. 3Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
  4. 4Centre for Public Health, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Vienna, Austria
  1. dee.knipe{at}

In their editorial on trends in suicide in the covid-19 pandemic, John and colleagues discuss the role of the media in preventing suicide.1 We would like to add that academics themselves need to contribute to responsible reporting through carefully described research findings, including in relation to covid-19.

Research has shown the potentially harmful effect of news reporting of suicide deaths on population suicide rates.2 Accordingly, media guidelines for reporting on suicide exist.345 These typically target …

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