As a follow up to her first guest blog, Jennifer from Mindframe takes a look at why the media must be careful when speculating about possible suicide incidents.
While we know that excluding graphic detail helps minimise risk to vulnerable people the circumstances around their death doesn’t tell us anything about why a person is vulnerable in the first place. This is why speculation is not advised in the guidelines.
Speculation is the act of assuming, or forming a theory without firm evidence. We know suicide is extremely complex and it is incredibly difficult to clearly associate one single factor being the cause of a suicide death.
The cause of suicidal thoughts or feelings of hopelessness, is more often than not, caused by many different factors. Many areas of someone’s life is likely to be acting as a source of stress, so to say that the last impacting factor of someone’s life was the sole causing factor, is inaccurate.
The way suicidal thoughts impact the mind is different for each person. Speculation around the cause of a death, backed up by memorialising, romanticising or glorifying the issues can appear to someone who is experiencing similar life stresses, that suicide is an option.