By providing clear ‘reasons’ why a person would suicide, the show suggests that suicide is ‘reasonable’ if certain criteria are met.
Research show: Young people who have experienced similar problems may start to view suicide as a reasonable option. This approach also disregards the experience of those who cannot identify obvious reasons for their distress or suicidal thoughts.
How to instead talk to a young person about this:
- Reiterate that suicide is not a common or helpful response to life’s challenges, and that there are always better ways to deal with problems, no matter how hopeless they may seem.
- Encourage young people who are going through a tough time to try the headspace Tips for Looking after Your Mental Health and Wellbeing and to seek support from friends, family and/or professional services if things don’t improve (a list of services is provided below).
- Remind young people that any feelings of distress are valid and warrant support, whether there is a specific reason for these feelings or not.
- Acknowledge the range of factors that may increase a person’s risk of suicide, including mental health issues.