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:
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.
Facebook, the 1.6 billion member social network giant, is expanding its efforts to prevent suicide, The New York Times reports. Both Forefront and our faculty director Jennifer Stuber, are mentioned prominently in the story about this endeavor.
As many people have heard, there’s a new movie about Japan’s suicide forest called “The Forest.” Although some may like it, there are controversies over how the movie sensationalizes suicide—and how it presents people taking their lives.
Suicide is something that people need to take seriously as an issue, not something to fictionalize over at the movie theater.