Generally, all suicide prevention advocates want to normalize the subject of suicide so that people who are feeling suicidal or have lost a loved one to suicide feel safe talking about it with others. Mass media and entertainment (like television shows and movies) can be conversation starters, with one exception: Suicide prevention organizations want the media to address the topic of suicide in a way that promotes suicide prevention. This is why so many suicide prevention organizations have a problem with Netflix’s show 13 Reasons Why.
We just heard the devastating news that Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life today. A father of six and an immensely talented musician, Chester’s suicide is a blow to millions - including suicide prevention advocates who are also music aficionados (and vice versa).
As the world reacts, here are a few talking points the public should know:
The city of Pittsburgh lies at the confluence of three major rivers, but, as you might expect, the number of bridges is far higher.
Middle-aged white people in the United States are bucking a global trend as they face an escalation in deaths from suicide, overdose and alcohol related deaths, according to a study from Anne Case and Angus Deaton of Princeton University.
Dear Robin McLaurin Williams,
Can you imagine a movie called “Heart Disease Squad”? How about “Cancer Squad”? Those titles would be absurd as well as disrespectful to people whose lives have been hurt by those illnesses, right?
So why is a movie called “Suicide Squad” in the works?
It takes a great deal of courage to acknowledge that you've struggled with suicidal thoughts, or that someone close to you has died by suicide.
Such admissions are rare enough that we do not have common language for them, just as we don't have common ways of discussing mental health and suicide in general. It can be uncomfortable and scary.
It’s the rare suicide article that encompasses what the suicide prevention community feels: heartbreak, grim statistics (nearly 40,000 dead each year) and a desire to speak out about something so culturally subverted that most people don’t even realize they avoid it.
More than two months after actor Robin Williams’ death, suicide prevention crisis lines are still reporting an unprecedented increase in calls, according to Newsweek. Directors attributed the increase to greater awareness due to widespread publication of crisis line numbers and more open discussion of depression and suicide risk.
By Roy K. Bunce