Franklin James Cook

Publicized Suicide Angers Family, May Harm Others

In Grief, Media on November 22, 2008 at 10:14 pm

The suicide of a Florida teen who broadcast his actual death over the Internet was alarmingly well-publicized. Here are two follow-up stories focusing on the impact of this tragedy:

A story in the online version of the London Times newspaper features remarks from the teen’s family.

“It’s unimaginable,” said his father … “There’s a lot of garbage out there that should not be, and unfortunately, this was allowed to happen.”

“It didn’t have to be,” said the victim’s sister … “They got hits, they got viewers, nothing happened for hours.”

A story in the Miami Herald includes an interview with a child psychiatrist who expresses concern about how this suicide might affect others.

”Any video showing it as heroic or romantic or glamorous could reduce the anxiety people might feel about suicide. It becomes a respectable behavior and lowers the threshold of suicide,” [said Dr. David Shaffer of Columbia University].

Shaffer urged teens or others who encounter someone on a blog who is threatening suicide not to simply urge them to desist but rather to try to engage them in conversation … “Get him to tell what’s going on. If he can tell his story, his urge to suicide might be diminished.”

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  1. Having lost my best-friend/hubby, 19 months ago, I do indeed understand why spouse’s commit suicide. All I can say is that we both had a strong faith in God, and therefore, He’s literally carried me through this most difficult journey of my life ! And no, time doesn’t heal, in fact it gets a bit worse every day. If I wasn’t raised a Christian, I really don’t know what would have happened to me. As it’s very much as many have said in the past, like having half your heart ripped out, and never ever healing !!
    My prayers are always with others who day by day, it seems, they are also thrust into this period of extreme devastation. As words cannot help, unless they’re from God !

  2. […] suicide of a Florida teen that was broadcast via the Internet (see the previous posts on SPNAC, Publicized Suicide Angers Family, May Harm Others” and “Expert Points To Ambivalence in Suicide Aired on […]

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