“188.8.131.52 Person-Centred Prevention: Dispelling Myths About Suicide
There are certain myths about suicide, especially in many Asian countries.
Myth No 1: “Those who speak about suicide will never do so”. In fact, the truth is exactly the opposite. Most people who commit suicide, would have communicated their intent to someone very close to them. The person usually tells this to some significant person in his life.
Myth No 2: “If someone has decided to end his life, no one can stop him”. This is also untrue. Most people do not want to die- they simply want an end to their suffering. Only, they are considering suicide as the option. If help arrives, or proper treatment is given, this perception will immediately disappear and the life can be saved.
Myth No 3: “If you enquire about suicide, you are going to plant this idea in his mind”. In fact when you enquire, the person entertaining suicidal ideas would have felt better understood. He/she would have known, not everything is lost and there is still joy in the world.
184.108.40.206 Media and Suicide
There is a tendency in the media to sensationalise and glorify suicides. Media may also give undue prominence to suicide. This has to be stopped. Sensationalising and glorifying suicide, will tempt young persons to model the victim and achieve glory or fame. The media must exercise utmost restraint. Suicide news should never be a front page story. One sided stories highlighting the character strengths of the suicide victim should not be given. If reported, it should be factual, mentioning his strengths as well as weaknesses, so that suicide is not seen as the act of the strong minded.
Public awareness of suicide and attempted suicide is very important. Most often, such people would be suffering from depression or personality problems. If we know this, we can treat them and help them. Person-centred care encourages the fight against the stigma associated with suicide, by seeing it as not as an act against society but as the cry of a sick person. Engaging the family members of the suicide victims with compassion and sensitivity and respecting their privacy is very important. Suicide Prevention Clinics, Crisis Intervention Centres and telephonic help lines are very useful. NGOs, educationalists, religious leaders and public activists have an important responsibility in spreading proper awareness about suicide prevention strategies. They are best successful in saving lives when working with person-centred approaches.”
Nikos G. Christodoulou MBBS, PhD, MRCPsych, Dusica Lecic-Tosevski MD, PhD
and Roy Abraham Kallivayalil MD, DPM, MAMS