The Stigma of Suicide on Postsecondary Campuses: The Influence of Media Articles and Acknowledging Student Suicide
Date & Time
Friday, August 13, 2021, 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Previous research demonstrates that postsecondary (PS) students experience suicide thoughts and behaviours, which also leads to experiences of stigma. The objective of this study was to determine if different types of media articles could influence the stigma of suicide on PS campus. Students read a scenario about a student suicide on their campus and were randomly assigned to a control article or one of three intervention articles (education, interpersonal exposure to a friend of the student that died by suicide or a suicide survivor). Stigma towards suicide survivors, particularly stereotypes, was significantly less after the three intervention articles compared to the control. Most students believed that campuses should acknowledge a suicide, were knowledgeable about resources, and many had experience with suicide behaviours. Mass media interventions could be effective in reducing some aspects of suicide stigma. PS institutions should consider respectfully acknowledging a suicide on their campuses.

Learning Objective 1:
Understand the stigma of suicide behaviours in the postsecondary context and the importance of stigma reduction initiatives.
Learning Objective 2:
Learn what types of media articles (knowledge-based, intergroup contact-based) could be used for both stigma-reduction and acknowledging a student suicide on campus and whether students believe institutions should acknowledge a suicide.
Learning Objective 3:
Reflect on how suicide stigma might present in your institutions and decide whether these types of mass media interventions could be implemented.
Health Promotion (national standard, healthy campus)
Session Type
Virtual Session Link