Samaritans publish guide on writing about suicide and self harm

Continuing on the theme of guides to writing about sensitive subjects, the Samaritans charity and the Society of Authors have collaborated to publish a practical factsheet for authors and publishers on the depiction of suicide and self-harm in fiction, non-fiction and other media.

The factsheet ‘Depiction of suicide and self-harm in literature’ presents statistics on suicide and self-harm, and evidence of the negative impact that writing can have.  IT also offers practical considerations for authors and publishers.

For example, language to use or avoid:Samaritans.JPG

In the UK, approximately 6,000 people die by suicide each year. Certain types of media depictions of suicide are linked with increases in suicide rates – so while it might be a rare occurrence to have to write about suicide or self harm in the context of law firm marketing, it is important to be aware and be extremely careful.

Society of Authors’ Chief Executive Nicola Solomon says ‘our main goal behind these guidelines is for authors to feel safe and empowered’ when developing narratives that deal with these sensitive topics, and this factsheet will help legal authors to approach the subject from an informed perspective.

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