Fars News Agency Community Group; On World Suicide Day, various reports were published on the do’s and don’ts and examining the causes and factors that result in the number of suicides in societies increasing or decreasing. But in the meantime, no mention was made of one of the most important factors that lead to the promotion of suicidal ideation in society, and the important and fundamental role of the media was overlooked.
While psychologists and behavioral scientists believe that with the development of cyberspace, this media has taken the pulse of the community’s sense of mental security, and any news and report that is published without considering specific mental health protocols, like a bullet left in the face can push the boundaries of feeling safe Move the psyche in the minds of individuals in society.
This is exactly what the hostile media, from the BBC and the International to you and me, are deliberately doing to spread the news and the bitter events about Iran, and they do not consider any of the global protocols for spreading news about suicide or social harm. In this report, we tell you how the inclusion of suicide-related news can lead to an increase in its statistics.
* A forgotten guide
A few years ago, the Mental Health, Social and Addiction Office of the Ministry of Health published a study on how suicide news is reflected in the media. This study was the result of the efforts of 6 experts in behavioral sciences, and as a result, the do’s and don’ts of publishing suicide news in the media were presented.
It was stated in this guide; “Do not use the term ‘successful suicide’ for complete suicides leading to death. Publish relevant information only on the inside pages of the press. Do not print details of suicide attempts. Do not give simplistic reasons for attempting suicide. Avoid magnifying and making suicide look exciting. Give as many examples as possible of those who have successfully overcome life crises. “Describe the physical consequences of a suicide attempt that did not lead to death, including brain damage due to suffocation, paralysis, and so on.” This is just one part of the guidelines for spreading suicide news in the media, which the media deliberately opposes, and the domestic media do not pay much attention to in order to attract the audience.
* Do not hit these headlines
“He committed suicide despite everything being available to him,” “a girl committed suicide because she was not allowed to go to her friend’s party.” Psychologists say; Suicide never happens as a result of an agent or accident. Usually a complex interaction of psychological factors, physical illness, substance abuse, family problems, interpersonal conflicts and life stresses lead to suicide. Posting suicide news in media such as newspapers, magazines and news sites increases the risk of negative effects compared to short oral news on radio and television due to its persistence, readability and repetition.
* How does the spread of bitter news of social harms lead to an increase in violence in society?
It is enough for something bitter to happen in a corner of this land. If a teenager or teenager commits suicide due to a series of factors, then the opposition media (intentionally) and the domestic media (inadvertently) cover this event with controversial headlines for several days. But what is the purpose of foreign media and how do they achieve it? The speeches of the person in charge of formulating a plan to control and reduce the social harms of the country show where the reflection of these events in the worst possible way comes from.
Dr. Mohsen Roshanpajooh; In an interview with Fars, the person in charge of developing a plan to control and reduce the country’s social harms says how the naked publication of news related to social harms, especially news related to suicide, leads to an increase in violence in society and an increase in social harms.
“In recent years we have seen a lot of news of murder, violence, coercion, suicide in exciting ways,” says the psychiatrist and neurologist. While the constant reflection of bitter events and social harms, whether suicide or other harms, causes disruption in other people’s behaviors. Reduce resilience to the problems, pressures and tensions that surround it. “The level of anxiety and emotional behavior suddenly increases, the decision-making process changes from a rational to an active state, and may turn into mood disorders, morbid fears, depression, generalized anxiety, and this leads to aggressive behaviors in the long run.”
* Pay attention to each word
Dr. “Ahmad Hajebi”; The director general of the Mental Health, Social and Addiction Office of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education also said about the publication of suicide news in the media: “Media officials should take measures to prevent the publication of reports that can be harmful to people’s mental health based on scientific evidence. . Misrepresentation of suicide, for example, increases intellectual engagement, especially among adolescents and young adults. In particular, the spread of juvenile suicide news among the public increases the rate of suicide attempts in susceptible and indoctrinated individuals in this age group. In these cases, news coverage should be as limited as possible, and instead, information about the right behaviors to seek help and the constructive actions that people should take in times of crisis or illness can certainly reduce the rate of suicide attempts. “Be effective among young people and adolescents.”
* News and imitation suicide in adolescents
Child and adolescent psychiatrist Jafar Fili also points to the other side of the coin of the impact of suicide news coverage on adolescents; “Children and adolescents can commit imitation suicide, and this can become contagious among them. On the other hand, suicidal thoughts are acute and short-lived in nature and can be activated in a person by observing them in the media again. Remember that there is always a hesitation between dying and not dying in adolescents who have suicidal thoughts for some reason. Doubt and hesitation on the one hand can be influenced by previous suicide attempts and on the other hand by peers who do it. Doubts and hesitations disappear when the suicide attempts are repeated or when they see or hear the news about them, and they may take the same action after learning about the death of their peers due to suicide (through family, friends or the media). . »
*What to do?
But what is the solution? Psychologists continue to emphasize the media’s commitment to mental health protocols in reporting suicide news.
“Ali Ghaednia Jahromi”; Reviewing the do’s and don’ts of the news media, the clinical psychologist says: “In Iran, protocols have been prepared by the Ministry of Health for news coverage in the media, which unfortunately is very low in compliance with this protocol, and this leads to further consequences.
Media people and journalists should be aware that the media should not directly cover issues and news of tragic social harms, especially suicide news, unless there is a need, as well as details about suicide such as the identity of the deceased and the method of attempting suicide or the cause. And do not make this action flashy and also refrain from publishing the image of the deceased.
Instead of publishing details, the media portrays suicide as a pathological behavior in which a person uses an irrational method due to his inability to cope with the pressures of life. Reporters reflect the true stories of people who used logical methods to overcome problems in the face of adversity. Use expert advice to empower children and adolescents, improve parent-child relationships, and strengthen family cohesion. “Finally, introduce reference centers to the public to support people with suicidal ideation, and also repeatedly remind the public not to publish suicide-related news in the virtual media, as this is like pouring gasoline on a fire.”
End of message /