Be sensitive while reporting suicides, says Goa child panel chief
Panaji: The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) on Wednesday issued a comprehensive set of guidelines for the media to follow while reporting suicides, particularly by children and adolescents.Dr. Sushma Kirtani, chairperson of GSCPCR, in a covering letter attached to the guidelines, said the Commission had taken suo motu note of some recent suicides cases by students which were inappropriately reported in some sections of media. Referring, in particular, to the reportage of a suicide by a student in Bicholim in North Goa on Wednesday, Dr. Kirtani said, “We are very disturbed by such reporting.” The GSCPCR chairperson cautioned that “as per the WHO guidelines, the media is not supposed to report in details such information as it is very detrimental to children reading it. It also can lead to “copy cat suicides” or threatening or blackmailing parents when they try to instil discipline.”Dr. Kirtani who has also been formulating a comprehensive State policy on mental health for children and adolescents with inputs from her own colleagues and from experts, urged the media to do “responsible and sensitive reporting”.