- Dear Judge,
We encourage you to seek personal support if you become troubled by the content of this category. If you experience an emotional crisis, there are people available to help you at
The entry you are judging is a 60-second film in the suicide prevention category. Suicide is a complex and sensitive subject which needs to be addressed with compassion and knowledge. This category has special content that must be included and specific content that must be avoided for the safety of and respect for the audience. At any point if you are experiencing technical difficulties with the website, or have questions regarding the category description, please email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or call Stan at (619) 518-2412.
In advance, we appreciate your time.
Safe Messaging Scoring Measures
1. Does the film include a resource?
- 2. How well does the film communicate a message about suicide prevention that is hopeful and focused on what someone can do to prevent suicide such as reaching out to a friend and seeking support?
Please assess how well the message is communicated. It does not have to be stated verbatim, but could be implied through dialog or another creative way. Note that it does not have to be one of the messages below, as long as the message is focused on suicide prevention.
- Know the Signs: Most people show one or more warning signs, so it is important to know the signs and take them seriously especially if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
- Don’t keep suicide a secret: It is ok to break a friend’s trust and share your concerns with an adult if you think your friend might be thinking about harming him or herself.
- Reach out for help: The film should encourage people to ask for help, reach out to a friend they are concerned about, or if a person talks about ending his or her life, to take him or her seriously and connect him or her to help.
Find the words: Asking someone "Are you thinking about suicide" will not put thoughts of suicide in his or her mind. In face, asking this direct question is important.
3. Does the film do a good job of not oversimplifying the causes for suicide or how to get better?
Note: It is okay to talk about life problems that may increase a person’s risk of suicide such as family issues (divorce, abuse) or social issues (bullying, break ups), and to talk about these life problems as a possible contributing factor to why a young person might be feeling hopeless, drinking more or isolating themselves (which are warning signs for suicide), but the film should not point to just one of these events as the cause of suicide. The truth is that not one of these events “causes” suicide, usually a person is dealing with multiple tough situations and is showing warning signs.
Although picking up someone’s books when they fall is a nice metaphor, it often takes more than “a simple act of kindness” to save a life. Remember that many people don’t know how they should respond to someone who is having thoughts of suicide. Use this opportunity to educate your fellow students and others about what to do, such as talking directly about suicide, seeking help from a trusted adult or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
4. Does the film avoid statistics and statements that portray suicide or a suicide attempt as something that happens all of the time?
(Mark “Yes” if the film includes statistics that talk about help-seeking behaviors, or if the film contains no statistics at all).
It may seem compelling to get the audience’s attention by using statistics such as “a person dies by suicide every 18 minutes”. However, presenting the data in this format makes suicide seem common and might encourage a young person already thinking about ending their life to believe, mistakenly, that suicide is a common and acceptable solution to the problems they are facing- which is not true! Statistics are a complex factor in creating safe suicide prevention messages, so we recommend avoiding them altogether.
Remember, this category is focused on raising awareness of prevention, not just convincing people that suicide is a problem.
5. If applicable, does the film use appropriate language when addressing suicide?
(Mark “Yes” if the film uses the appropriate language, or if this doesn’t apply to the film.)
||Do NOT Use|
|“died by suicide”
“took their own life”||
Note: Use of the word commit can imply crime/sin
|“attempted suicide”||“successful/completed” or “unsuccessful”
Note: There is no success, or lack of success, when dealing with suicide|
The suicide prevention community is trying to clarify the ways in which people refer to actions related to suicide. The more clear and respectful we can when speaking about actions related to suicide, the more we will be able to remove misconceptions that prevent people from getting support.
Technical and Creative Measures