Suicide Reporting During COVID-19 Pandemic: Workshop For Journalists

Suicide is a public health crisis in India. Globally, India accounts for 36·6% of the suicide deaths among women and 24·3% suicide deaths among men. The Lancet has estimated that in 2012 alone, approximately 2,50,000 people died by suicide in India. Suicide is the leading cause of death among women between the ages of 15-29 and the second leading cause of mortality among men of the same age-group in India.

The media’s role is crucial for suicide prevention given its strong influence on individuals and communities. Scientific research has established the role of poor and irresponsible media reporting in increasing suicide rates. Research also suggests that positive and responsible reporting of suicides which promotes help-seeking behaviour, increases awareness of suicide prevention, shares stories of individuals overcoming their distress and promotes coping strategies can help reduce suicides and suicidal behaviour. To ensure ethical reporting, the World Health Organization and other suicide prevention organizations across the world have issued evidence-based suicide reporting guidelines and best practices for the media.

This workshop will aim to reduce the knowledge-practice gap on responsible media reporting, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, for journalists in India. Specifically, the workshop will address suicide reporting guidelines and best practices for media; relevance in the Indian context; and its practical application to ensure responsible and ethical reporting for suicide prevention.

Event Timing: July 03, 2020 | 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm IST

Registration Fees: INR 500/- (For each)

Organized by Suno India Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, Pune and Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research Initiative (SPIRIT)


Dr Soumitra Pathare

Dr Soumitra is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy at the Indian Law Society, Pune, India. His primary interests are in the areas of mental health policy, scaling up mental health services, rights-based care and legislation.
He has provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in drafting India’s new Mental Health Care Act 2017, which takes a rights-based approach to mental health care and provides for publicly funded universal mental health care.
He was also a member of the Mental Health Policy Group appointed by Government of India to draft India’s first National Mental Health Policy released in October 2014. He has served as a WHO consultant in many low and middle-income countries (Botswana, Seychelles, Lesotho, Samoa, Vanuatu, Eritrea) assisting them in drafting and implementing mental health legislation and national mental health policy.
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Arjun Kapoor

He is a Research Fellow and Program Manager at the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, Indian Law Society, Pune. He is a trained Lawyer and Psychologist working at the intersection of human rights, mental health, and suicide prevention.
He is currently working with a range of stakeholders on law & policy reform for advancing mental health and suicide prevention in India and provides technical support to the Suicide Prevention & Implementation Research Initiative for program implementation, capacity building and public engagement.
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Jasmine Kalha

She is a Research Fellow and Program Manager at the Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy, Indian Law Society, Pune and is trained in social work and sociology.
She works on implementation research across health systems reform and community-based interventions on suicide prevention, peer support, and recovery. She works on capacity building for stakeholders to promote the uptake of evidence-informed policies for suicide prevention and mental health.
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Tanmoy Goswami

Tanmoy writes about the science, philosophy, politics, and economics of mental health as the Sanity correspondent at The Correspondent, a membership-based media platform headquartered in Amsterdam.
Earlier, he was Associate Editor and employee #1 at Economic Times Prime.
Tanmoy is a two-decade veteran of living with depression and anxiety and spends much of his free time on suicide-prevention advocacy and helping improve media literacy for more humane coverage of mental illness and suicide. He lives in Delhi.
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