WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, September 8, 2017 / -- Some members of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) have viewed Giancarlo Esposito’s new film, The Show, about a reality TV program that exploits the on-camera suicide deaths of its players. While AAS was not involved in, nor consulted during, its production, we believe every instance of suicide in the media is an opportunity to have a conversation about it, and additionally to review suicide prevention efforts on a larger scale.

National Suicide Prevention Week (NSPW) will be recognized in the U.S. from September 10-16, 2017. The release of this movie is of particular importance when organizations across the country are raising awareness of this critical public health issue. You can find more information regarding National Suicide Prevention Week here -

The suicide prevention field cannot control media portrayals of suicide. What it can control is its response to it. AAS is collaborating with media partners, including movie studios, regarding effective and beneficial ways to portray suicide, suicide loss and attempts, and suicide prevention.

Colleen Creighton, Executive Director of AAS says, “Building relationships with entertainment industry professionals will have a lasting legacy of eliminating prejudice and discrimination of those with mental health issues, while maintaining the integrity of artistic and creative freedom.”

While over 44,000 people die from suicide in the U.S. every year, over 1,000,000 more attempt suicide and go on to live productive lives that do not end in suicide. Media professionals and journalists tend to focus on the sensational aspects of suicide deaths, but a larger positive social benefit is possible by focusing instead on the very real stories of hope, healing, and recovery that we know are possible.

“Be aware of those around you, check in with them, and ask them how you can help. If you are personally affected, please reach out and seek support,” says Julie Cerel, President of AAS.

Suicide prevention resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-8255 -
Crisis Text Line - Text HOME to 741-741 -
The Trevor Project - 866-488-7386 -
Trans Lifeline - 877-565-8860 -

For the media: We urge members of the media to share suicide prevention resources in all of their reports. Responsible reporting on suicide and the inclusion of stories of hope and resilience can prevent more suicides. You can find more information on safe messaging around suicide here -

About AAS: Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes suicide as a research discipline, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of lay persons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at

Colleen Creighton
American Association of Suicidology
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