[YSPNetwork] Oregonian article - beware for posting/editions in your area...
Lisa M MILLET
Lisa.M.Millet at state.or.us
Fri Oct 24 15:50:36 PDT 2008
The Oregonian printed an article today that actually pictures an
individual on a bridge threatening to jump and then goes on to describe
various events of people dying by suicide in detail. This is one of the
worst stories I have seen - if one overlooks the story with a picture of
a hanging off of the steel bridge - front page above the fold and the
picture/story of young man in Roseburg with a gun to his head, also
front page above the fold.
If you see stories like this please challenge them and send them the
information below - if they are online try to get them to take them
Economy, Suicide and the Media
A number of recent stories in the media have highlighted tragic suicide
deaths in the context of the current financial crisis. Although it is
true that such stressors can precede a suicide, the issue of causation
is much more complicated. In fact, more than 90 percent of people who
die by suicide have an underlying psychiatric disorder at the time of
their death, most often depression. It is important to note that when
people have recovered from their depression, the stressful events look
different to them, and because they are thinking more clearly they can
find better solutions to their problems.
Since the most recent statistics on suicide rates are from 2006, it is
nearly impossible to determine the effect, if any, that the recent
economic downturn has had on the nation*s suicide rate. And while
historically, there have been reports about suicide rates increasing
during past economic recessions, direct cause and effect has not been
studied or determined (see a recent article by ABC News, *Economic
Depression Suicides A Myth?*).
Therefore, it is important for the media to avoid sensationalizing
recent news of suicides by linking them to the economy when the
statistics are not available and facts are limited. Instead, the media
could educate the public about suicide warning signs, symptoms of
depression and provide the public with information on how and where to
seek help if they or someone they know is in trouble.
In addition to providing inaccurate information, highlighting stories
about suicide deaths can run the risk of contributing to suicide
contagion, also known as copycatting. Certain ways the media reports
about this issue, such as oversimplifying and sensationalizing suicide,
can contribute to contagion or in the very least can amplify more
misinformation about suicide. Nationally recognized recommendations for
reporting on suicide are available at www.afsp.org/media.
AFSP urges the media to refer to these recommendations for any and all
future reportings on suicide, and consider adding into their coverage
helpful resources for individuals in suicidal (1-800-273-TALK) and/or
Here's the link to the story:
Lisa M. Millet
Injury Prevention and Epidemiology Section Manager
Department of Human Services, Health Services
800 NE Oregon St. Suite 772
Portland, OR 97232
Lisa.M.Millet at state.or.us
If all you did was just look for things to appreciate you would live a
joyous, spectacular life.
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