I’ve come to find out many things about suicide and depression but one thing is evident: public opinion is highly against talking about it. It’s obviously a taboo subject and not one that is brought up often, that’s why I wanted to start this blog. But I want to know why.
As a society are we ashamed? Does it make us feel uncomfortable knowing that some people are depressed or choose to end their lives? Do we see it as a sign of weakness? I think the answer to these questions is simple. YES.
There’s a lot of talk about assisted suicide and the controversy behind it but why don’t we talk about the people who are troubled and need help who aren’t terminally ill? We can’t just ignore them. But that’s exactly what the media is doing. There is hardly any talk about public opinion when it comes to suicide and depression because it’s hard to have an opinion on a topic that isn’t discussed. Not talking about it doesn’t solve the problem, but according to some, it may actually help.
In an article written by Michelle Trudeau she says that media coverage can have negative effects when it comes to reporting on suicide. In her article, she discusses suicide clusters–which is multiple sucides happening in a specific location over a short period of time. These suicide clusters usually occur amongst teenagers. Suicide is hard enough to deal with when it is just one person, when it happens to multiple people, it can be too overwhelming to handle. Trudeau states in her article that the coverage of the media can be negative because it spreads the word about suicide and can trigger even more suicides. Although this is a subject that DOES need to be talked about, the media needs to be sure to go about it very carefully.
Suicide clusters, or suicide in general, is not something that should have to be a part of our society. But it is. And until we begin to educate each other about signs of suicide or depression, it is only going to continue to get worse and leave so many people with unanswered questions.