Different groups and professional bodies are set to collaborate to mark the suicide prevention day with media education.
Not for Profit Organisations, media professional bodies, broadcast stations and marketing communications firms including Suicide Is No Solution (SINS), Asido Foundation, Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), Lagos Online Media Publishers Association (LASOMP), Spirit of Nigeria Radio, Life Radio, Jordan FM, Tall and Wide Company and Strycaz Consulting are geared for a special webinar to commemorate the 2021 World Suicide Prevention Day.
This was disclosed in a statement by Toye Arulogun, Project Director of Suicide Is No Solution, the coordinating arm of the initiative. The statement revealed that the webinar with the theme: Suicide Reporting: The Social Responsibility Imperative will hold on Friday 10th September 2021 at 6:00pm with the key objective of enlightening Nigerian media practitioners and the nation’s media space at large to the best practices of reporting this public mental issue.
According to Arulogun “With Nigeria’s increasing and alarming rate of deaths by suicide which is ranked the highest in West Africa, 5th in Africa and 15th in the world according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), responsible media reportage of suicide incidents has become imperative. This is because studies have shown that communication plays a very important role in societal behavioural patterns and trends while media reportage on mental health and suicide cases influence behaviour negatively by contributing to contagion, or positively by encouraging help-seeking”
Speakers at the webinar are Prof. Moses Audu, Consultant Psychiatrist, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Dr Jibril Abdulmalik, Consultant Psychiatrist and Founder, ASIDO Foundation, Mr Odita Sunday, President, Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria, Mrs Jadesola Ajibola, Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Mr Folajaiye Kareem, Clinical Psychologists and Director of Interventions, ASIDO Foundation and Mr Lateef Owodunni, Publisher Gist Island News and Treasurer, Lagos Online Media Publishers Association.
The webinar is expected to redirect narratives on suicide reporting in the Nigerian media space with a view to establishing a new regime of responsible suicide reporting devoid of sensationalism, depiction or description of suicide methods, or sharing the content of suicide notes.