News Editors’ Views about Suicide and Suicide Stories in Ghana

  • Charity S. Akotia
  • Joseph OsafoEmail author
  • Winifred Asare-Doku
  • Kofi E. Boakye
Review Article


Media reporting of suicide has attracted attention globally because it has the potential to trigger copycat suicides. The absence of a national policy on suicide prevention in Ghana has left the media landscape with uncensored publication of suicide stories. The aim of this study was to examine the views of media editors on suicide and the considerations that guide them in publishing suicide stories in the country. Fourteen media reporters and editors (10 males, 4 females) from three major media houses in Accra, the capital, between the ages of 26–48 participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of the results showed that considerations for publishing suicide stories included deterrence, didacticism, celebritism, and ethics. These considerations generally reflect the doubled-edged role of the media in suicide prevention: on the one hand, the media is a partner in public health education; but on the other hand, the media’s activities can be deleterious to all preventive efforts in public health education on suicide. Implications for gatekeeper training for media personnel in suicide prevention in Ghana are addressed.


Suicide Media News editors Ghana 



This project received financial support from Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) at the University of Ghana (URF/7/ILG-025/2013-2014).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, School of Social SciencesUniversity of GhanaLegon, AccraGhana
  2. 2.Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Medicine and Public HealthThe University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, Department of Humanities and Social SciencesAnglia Ruskin UniversityCambridgeUK

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