Should Suicide be reported in the media?

There has been a lot of discussion about this in the media lately. Should it be reported. Many families would like it to come out in the open. to be reported, so that people can learn more about it. So that families can see the warning signs and learn what they may be able to do to help a loved one , family or friend if it happens.

There was an interesting article in the NZ Herald today about this. Written by a mother of a young man who commited suicide- Sally Fisher. You can see the whole article here on the NZ Herald website

Here is an excerpt: 

“Suicide is a devastating, tangible measurement of the ultimate failure of our mental health services.

I believe that with adequate, equitable services and education, many of these suicides are preventable. A reduction of these figures will reflect an improvement of overall care.

Society rationalises its guilt over these deaths by associating them with negative labels such as drug taking and schizophrenia, although a high proportion of such deaths have no such associations.

All of us have the potential to become suicidal given the wrong set of circumstances, although people have different thresholds as with other illnesses. Ideology drives that these deaths are inevitable and unpredictable yet advances in knowledge contradict this.

As with all illnesses early intervention makes a huge impact on outcome. Mental illness is just the same. Advancements in knowledge and medication make it imperative that this is instituted so that, as has happened with other illnesses such as asthma, the outcomes are markedly improved.

There is a failure to think of mental illness in the same way as other “physical” illnesses. This detracts from rationale management.

The prime example of this is the ideology that suicide is unpredictable. It is as predictable and preventable as a stroke or heart attack, if the warning signs are acknowledged and acted on. This can be achieved by education.

Although there has been progress in the promotion and recognition and community acceptability of mental illnesses the services to manage them have not been put in place.

In particular, the availability of psychological and healing environments in a holistic sense have been reduced, with an increasing emphasis on drug management which may be inappropriate or detrimental.

I believe that suicide should be discussed and reported.”

I have started a thread on on HVN forum would love to hear what you think?