SUICIDE PREVENTION: Change the Conversation

Kamara Gardner, MPH
Public & Mental Health Advocate
Suicide Prevention Subject Matter Expert

Young Government Leaders (YGL) member, Kamara Gardner, encourages FEW and YGL to educate ourselves and each other about suicide prevention.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention developed a safety framework for messaging that aims to change the conversation around suicide and promote help-seeking and resiliency.

Here are some “Dos” and “Don’ts” to facilitate constructive public communication about suicide.


  • Learn the warning signs
  • Say “died by suicide” or “suicide attempt”
  • Be direct, nonjudgmental, and open minded in conversations about suicide
  • Provide accurate information about where to seek help, educate on suicide prevention, write about coping mechanisms
  • Show compassion, actively listen, and accept one’s feelings


  • Glamorize or romanticize suicide
  • Say “committed suicide,” “successful suicide attempt,” “complete suicide”
  • Provide details about suicide method or location
  • Continuously repeat coverage
  • Use oversimplified explanations for suicide
  • Offer personal details that encourage identification of the person who died by suicide
  • Reinforce negative stereotypes related to mental illness

Let’s change the conversation and promote a supportive and understanding environment. #SuicidePrevention #MessagingMatters