Graduation Year

2019

Date of Submission

12-2018

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Kathleen Brown

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

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1997 Savannah T Stern

Abstract

With suicide on the rise nationwide, it is important now more than ever to prioritize suicide as a public health issue. This means raising awareness and conducting research aimed at developing new suicide prevention tools and strategies, as well as reevaluating and challenging already existent ones. Media messaging can be a great suicide prevention tool. Suicide depictions and reporting in different forms of media—including newspapers, online publications, film, television, and more—have the power to influence behavior. When reporting in a safe and appropriate manner, the media can influence behavior in a positive way and encourage help-seeking. However, reports that sensationalize and glamorize suicide have the potential to spark suicide contagion. Thus, when reporting on suicide it is crucial to be aware of best practices and recommendations developed by experts. In recent years, media campaigns aimed at suicide prevention have gained traction. While there has been some evidence suggesting the success of such campaigns, more research is needed in this area. Further research is also needed to assess the effects of fictional depictions of suicide in film and television.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.

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