Oregon newsrooms team up to ‘break silence’ around suicide

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — It’s common for newsrooms not to report on suicide. The fear is that doing so may inspire others to also take their own lives.

But over 30 newspapers and T.V. stations in Oregon are challenging that practice. From April 7 to 14, they will report on mental health’s effect on the community and efforts to prevent tragedy.

The “Breaking the Silence” project comes as the national suicide rate hits a 50-year high. The problem is even worse in Oregon, where the suicide rate is 40% higher than the national average.

Oregonian/Oregonian Live Editor Therese Bottomly said the initiative is a unique opportunity for the media to provide “better information about the scope of” suicide and best practices for prevention. That, she said, has “the possibility of truly saving lives.”