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The Institute of Internal Communication has partnered with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to produce a guide to help organisations when they need to communicate suicide.

Helping organisations when they need to communicate suicide provides a framework for communicating with various stakeholders following the death of a colleague by suicide or possible suicide.

It offers guidance and checklists on preparing a suicide response plan, responding immediately when a member of staff is thought to have taken their own life, managing communication in the weeks and months that follow, and talking about suicide in the workplace.

IoIC board director Oli Howard says: “No IC professional wants to be in the position of communicating the loss of a colleague to suicide in their organisation. Most of us would probably prefer not to think about it, but the way in which suicide is communicated can have a real impact on employees, family and others.

“It's a task that calls for awareness, sensitivity and respect, so it is entirely right that some guidance is available to support practitioners when these most difficult of circumstances occur. I am glad we have been able to work in partnership with the CIPR to make this available.”

IoIC Fellow and Chair of the CIPR Health Group Rachel Royall says: “One suicide is one too many. However, there were 5,224 suicides registered in England and Wales last year and around 10,000 calls are taken by the Samaritans each day. Therefore, communicating about suicide and mental health is a daily task for many working in internal communication 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.”

Before reading the detailed guide, it is advised that readers mentally prepare to be confronted with some challenging content and issues.

You can download the guide here.

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