Media told to be cautious in suicide reporting – Capital Radio Malawi
13 June, 2024

Media told to be cautious in suicide reporting

Mwansambo-media need to exercise caution

Health authorities are pushing the media to exercise caution when reporting on suicide in order to prevent triggering further suicidal behaviour or self-harm.

Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo has made the appeal in a statement that Capital FM has seen.

Malawi is facing a rise in cases of mental health problems, due to factors ranging from adverse life events, socio-economic challenges, substance abuse, chronic physical illness or pandemics like COVID-19.

A recent report from the Malawi Police Services shows that 160 people died by suicide from January to September this year.

According to Mwansambo, the media can be an invaluable source of support for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts to access information and assistance.

He however laments that sometimes they expose people to sensational graphic content, including methods of harm.

Mwansambo explains that access to such content can be distressing, and may encourage, maintain or exacerbate self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

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