DAMNED IF YOU DO?

QUOTE: Reporting LGBT Bullycides Can Increase Suicide Contagion

When we draw direct lines from sexual orientation or bullying to suicide, it can influence someone who is at-risk to assume that taking your own life is what you’re supposed to do next if you are LGBT or bullied. This may not seem rational, but attempting to take your own life is an irrational act.As a caring community, we can help avoid making suicide appear like a logical choice by putting distance between statements or stories describing instances of bullying and instances of suicide.

Another factor that increases risk is suicide contagion – the link between media reports and a person’s decision to attempt suicide. In other words, the more a story of a particular victim is out there, the more likely one or more people who are at-risk will also attempt suicide. The recent tragedy in Ottawa appears to have occurred as a combination of compromised psychological well-being influenced by factors of contagion. That the young person was also the victim of anti-LGBT bullying made a bad situation even worse.

– Interim executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project David McFarland discussing the link between suicide contagion and media coverage.

Image via epSos.de