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Depicting Suicide Prevention
Brian NEW HeadshotA Message from EIC's President, CEO & Co-Founder, Brian Dyak

This week is 
Suicide Prevention Week and I encourage you to visit to get informed on how we can all prevent suicide within our communities by raising awareness of this epidemic. Suicide is a serious public health problem in this country that devastates families and causes tremendous stigma within communities. Suicide results from complex interactions between biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors.  It evokes uncomfortable reactions in people, blaming victims and leaving surviving family and friends with enormous feelings of guilt.  

Depicting suicidal behavior and especially, suicidal acts on television and in movies is understandably a difficult proposition--one that many people will not approach at all.  But because depicting suicide is inevitable in some storylines, it is imperative that writers, directors, producers, and actors in the creative process understand the realities of suicide-related concerns and take every measure to keep in mind the influence you have on your audience--especially young adults.

Below you will find some depictions suggestions that can help when crafting your character or storyline that involves suicide.  I ask you to read these and the additional depiction suggestions contained within the updated, "Spotlight on Depiction Of Health and Social Issues: Mental Illness, Wellness, and Recovery" resource book. With the power of the entertainment industry, we can reduce the number of suicides in this country through thoughtful storylines that contain help-seeking behavior.
Visit EICtv Network and Share Your Story!

"That's My Story" is your chance to share with the world how the media  has encouraged or positively impacted your life on the path of recovery or triumph over the stigma often associated with substance use and mental health issues. Share your story in an UNLISTED YouTube link emailed to and, if chosen, your story could appear in the 18th Annual PRISM Awards Showcase TV special premiering during Recovery Month 2014, on FX Networks. 

 In this issue...
  • A Message from Brian Dyak
  • Did You Know?
  • Depiction Suggestions for Suicide Prevention
  • TEAM Up Resources for Journalists

Did you know?

The great majority of people who experience a mental illness do not die by suicide. However, of those who die from suicide, more than 90 percent have a mental disorder or substance abuse that could have been addressed. People who die by suicide are frequently experiencing undiagnosed, undertreated, or untreated depression or bipolar disorder.

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If you or someone you know is battling depression or thoughts of suicide
Call THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE at 1 800 273 TALK (8255) to speak with a counselor today!
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Click here for more information!
Looking for More?

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Check out EIC's Publication Picture This: Depression & Suicide Prevention

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For additional resources on this topic visit the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention website.

Depiction Suggestions for your Characters and
Storylines involving Suicide

Recognize that suicide is preventable.

• Thoughts of suicide are complex. A person who is depressed or contemplating suicide will be much more believable—and, therefore, make a more effective character—if he or she is depicted with depth and profundity.

• Depicting characters who survive suicide attempts can provide strong dramatic entertainment value.

People—especially young adults—need to understand what to do if someone they know attempts suicide or shows signs of suicidal behavior.

• Think about ways to show depressed or suicidal characters seeking help. This will model help-seeking behaviors for viewers and will make it clear to faithful fans that characters, like real people, often keep looking for help even when seriously depressed.

• While primary prevention is not easy to incorporate in a story arc, consider showing young people and other demographic groups (i.e., churches, college clubs and student organizations, elderly individuals, etc.) talking about suicide or other mental health issues in an honest, helpful way and provide an opportunity for expert advice by another character—a doctor or other medical 
or psychiatric professional.

For more depiction suggestions on suicide, please visit TEAM Up's "Spotlight on Depiction Of Health and Social Issues: Mental Illness, Wellness, and Recovery"

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EIC's FREE Technical Assistance Resource 
to the Creative Community!

To set up your own FREE First Draft Consultation with one of our experts contact Larry Deutchman,
or 818-861-7782.

Check out EIC's Online Mental Health Resources at
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17th Annual PRISM Showcase Premiere

Dr. Drew and G PRISM
Host Dr. Drew Pinsky with Co-Host Guiliana Ranic

The 17th Annual PRISM Showcase will air on FX, Saturday September 14th at 3 PM with a repeat airing Sunday night at 1 AM.

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