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Essential tips for Hong Kong journalists reporting suicide and mental health issues

The media’s role and its responsibilities in reporting suicide and mental health issues were outlined in a workshop for journalists, part of an FCC series focused on the Hong Kong protests.

Professor Paul Yip, Director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention at HKU, gives reporting tips to journalists. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC
Professor Paul Yip, Director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention at HKU, gives reporting tips to journalists. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Following rumours and speculation about a number of suicides that were directly linked by some Hong Kong media to the ongoing protests in the city–and giving details of how they were carried out–Professor Paul Yip, Director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong, issued advice to journalists covering the topic at a breakfast briefing on August 27.

Prof Yip encouraged media professionals to provide more information around suicide prevention to help raise awareness of the support available to those experiencing mental health issues. He also advised journalists covering the Hong Kong protests to take rest for the sake of their own physical and mental health.

An audience member and representative of the Hong Kong Samaritans revealed that the nature of calls to the organisation’s hotline had recently changed, with many callers worried about the protests.

You can download the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention’s recommendations on suicide and mental health reporting here.

The Hong Kong Samaritans website can be found here, and the 24/7 hotline number is 2896 0000.

Watch the breakfast briefing




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