Bit of a somber topic to approach on a Sunday evening, and I want to start by asking that I will try to discuss the subject with the utmost respect as to its everlasting impact on our families, friends, colleagues, etc.
I was just scrolling through the BBC Sport homepage and noted that a young Rugby player from my home county, Yorkshire, had been found dead in his hotel room after making his debut against Toulouse.
Now, if you go ahead and read the article, the cause of death is not alluded to whatsoever, so what I’m saying is purely conjecture and based on nothing other than the semantic approach adopted by the journalist. It’s just, as I read through the article, I feel a sense of “we know how it happened, we just don’t want to say how it happened".
This is something I’ve seen in many an article in which the victim has passed by taking their own life; we shuffle around it. It is very rare that they say “Mr. X has been found dead in an apparent suicide" even when we all know / find out via other means that that is exactly what it was; instead, we hear “body found" followed by some heartfelt comments by the organisation and loved ones they’ve left behind.
This story (potentially); the DJ Avici (sp) a few months ago; Chris Cornell; Chester Bennington.
There just seems to be a fear - a stigma - surrounding coming out and saying it quite plainly. Even if, within the same article, we read that a donation has been made to Samaritans or some other charity who endeavor to prevent suicide efforts or a quote that alludes to it - a clear reference to how it happened - the article itself never explicitly states it.
It just seems to me that, with the statistics worse than ever and not looking like slowing down, to tip toe around the subject is the exact opposite thing we should be doing. Surely, we should be addressing it and fighting it head on? We’ve made great steps in this regard when it comes to mental health more generally - advocating disclosure and the receipt thereof - but we remain to be un-characteristically mute on potentially the greatest travesty to derive from poor mental health. Do we not learn from our mistakes?
I remember when you couldn’t talk about race or gender preference as openly (with some, who just seemingly want any reason to be offended,, this is still almost impossible without being labeled discriminatory); but as any such discourse is opened, and we can feel comfortable to talk freely about it, I say us making significant progress in the field(s).
Anyway, have you guys noticed the same? Do you ever read an article and think “suicide" even though the text itself does not actually say it? Do you think that this approach is respectful / rightly sensitive, or do you think that, ultimately, it is detrimental in our progress for suicide prevention?
Let’s talk about suicide