Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lucia Suicide Reporting

Many years ago my best friend killed herself when we were both aged fourteen. Nothing in my life to that point really prepared me for that event, and I think now looking back that it put me into shock for many years after.

Could I have done something, I wondered, if I had known more about suicide and what signs to look for? My mind really shies away from dwelling too much on thoughts such as these, for we cannot bring back the past and what is done is done and I was a child back then.

But for years before she died she would send me letters with bombs drawn in as decoration on the envelopes. Apparently this is a "sign" I've learnt somewhere, but as a child I just thought nothing much them. They were just part of her signature.

So I don't know. Should the veil on suicide be lifted? I don't know. And what really is the difference between voluntary euthanasia which so many in NZ seem to support and suicide which can't be talked about publicly? Is suicide the death of the young and voluntary euthanasia the death of the old and sick and useless?

4 comment(s):

mojo said...

Aha ... & should the veil of secrecy on the more heinous crimes be lifted as well ... well perhaps firstly ... this is a whale of an issue really.

& bombs on envelopes ... haven't heard that one before ... ostracism, deprecation, the random bash ... yep ... mmm.

dad4justice said...

I am struggling to get the actual figures of men that killed themselves last year due to being forced litigants into the cruel and gender bias family court? I believe the numbers to be significant, however the secrecy that surrounds the corrupt heartbreaking court makes statistics impossible to obtain. Judge Boshier has lots of male blood on his insidious hands of deceit!

Frank Ritchie said...

I'm torn on this one as well, Lucia.

I did a Sunday night talkback show on Life FM for about 8yrs and in that time I talked to soooo many young people struggling with this very issue.

One of the things that struck me time and time again was the disconnection they had with the older people in their world - they were talking about the issue and their struggles with peers who were in the exact same situation.

I wonder if being more open about it as a society would enable more connection between younger and older to discuss it. In my view that would be a really good thing.

As dad4justice has rightly pointed out, another grouping that features highly in our statistics is males who can no longer be classed as 'youth'. I wonder if being more open about the issue would also encourage them to talk more before suicide became an option in their thinking... the problem is far too many people think they're struggling alone and because of it they further isolate themselves.

It's a big one with no easy answers.

mojo said...

I am not torn on it at all. If what is meant is simply publishing how folk have died, then fine. If what is meant is talking about suicide and who has suicided, given the tendency to 'not speak ill of the dead,' then it will inevitably be seen as a viable option. It is this notion, I believe, that sees it as an infectious phenomenon within famillies and amid friends. Similarly endeavours to identify those 'most likely to off themselves' is likely via addressing it and making it real as an option, to expedite the execution.
Teaching that emotions are a transient phenomenon and that doing nought (albeit interaction is better) will, over time, realise a remission in such thinking is a far more preventative and safer approach.
It is social competence, the ability to largely effect the responses from others you want, that makes one bullet proof in this regard.

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