The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) have published a new skills guide providing a framework for communicating with various stakeholders following the death of a colleague by suicide or possible suicide.
‘Helping organisations when they need to communicate suicide’ – freely available to all – outlines a five-step process on how to prepare for, respond to, communicate, and manage communication related to a suicide internally and externally including with the press and authorities. It includes a section on the use of language.
Before reading the detailed guide, it is advised that readers mentally prepare to be confronted with some challenging content and issues.
One suicide is one too many, however there were 5,224 suicides registered in England and Wales last year and around 10,000 calls taken by the Samaritans each day. Therefore communicating about suicide and mental health is a daily task for many working in internal communications and PR.
The aim of this guide is to support those colleagues who have to do that. It provides them with a framework and signposts them to support for their own wellbeing.
Many thanks to all the contributors to this guide and those who have looked over it. Your support is greatly appreciated and has helped to produce a valuable and important piece of work.
Rachel Royall Chart.PR FCIPR, Chair of CIPR Health