Guidance documents

Suicide Prevention in the Community

Suicide Prevention in the Community (2023) - Connecting, Communicating, Caring: A Practical Guide aims to offer practical, evidence-based guidance to help and encourage communities who want to get involved in suicide prevention by building their understanding, knowledge and skills.

It promotes consistent and safe messages and provides information on how to respond to suicide in a balanced and sensitive way. Informed by experiences and knowledge built up over the years, real-life case study examples are outlined of activities, initiatives and programmes being carried out throughout Ireland.

This book was produced by Mary O’Sullivan (HSE Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention) in collaboration with HSE colleagues, and other statutory, voluntary and community groups working in suicide prevention in Ireland. It was edited by Eithne Tiernan and published by the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) in 2023.

Guidance for Developing a Community Response to Suicide

The HSE NOSP has published (September 2021) new operational guidance, Developing a Community Response to Suicide. This guidance is a resource to support those tasked with developing and implementing an Inter-Agency Community Response Plan (CRP) for incidents of suspected suicide, particularly where there is a risk of clusters and/or contagion. It outlines the processes involved in preparing such plans, how they should be governed, led and when required, activated.

Guidance for education settings

Guidance for media

Samaritans Ireland Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide

Research evidence shows that certain types of media depictions, such as explicitly describing a method, sensational and excessive reporting, can lead to imitational suicidal behaviour among vulnerable people. Samaritans Ireland Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide have been produced following extensive consultation with journalists and editors throughout the industry. They promote the highest standards in reporting, depicting or discussing suicide.


Headline is Ireland’s national programme for responsible reporting, and representation of mental illness and suicide. Their objective is to work as collaboratively as possible with Irish media professionals across print, broadcast, and online platforms to reduce the effects of suicide contagion, and the stigma attached to mental ill health.

World Health Organisation - a resource for media professionals

In 1999 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched SUPRE, its worldwide initiative for the prevention of suicide. This 2017 booklet is a revised version of one of the resources prepared as part of SUPRE which are addressed to specific social and professional groups that are particularly relevant to the prevention of suicide.

World Health Organisation - a resource for filmmakers and others working on stage and screen

This booklet from the World Health Organisation is one of a series of resources aimed at specific groups of people who are in a position where they can contribute to suicide prevention.


A murder-suicide occurs when a person kills others before taking their own life. In Ireland, as in most other countries, cases of murder-suicide are rare, but the impact of these complex events is devastating on surviving individuals, families and communities. This briefing gives an overview of murder-suicide and highlights key considerations in media reporting of such incident.

Other guidance