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Injury Prevention

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Language matters

Society uses many terms that lack compassion and empathy when it comes to suicide. Whether discussing suicide with a group of friends, supporting someone with lived experience or writing an article as a journalist, the following terms are recommended:

• People-First Language (person who has died by suicide)
• Safe Language (died by suicide/death by suicide or attempted suicide)
• Safe Messaging (neutral, life-affirming, convey hope and healing)

Source:  Adapted from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Language Matters, 2018 

Need more? Check out the following resources:

Public Health Agency of Canada: LANGUAGE MATTERS
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP): GUIDELINES FOR MEDIA
Jack.org: HOW TO TELL A STORY SAFELY
The Centre for Addictions and Mental Health: WORDS MATTER

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