APAF hosts VOICE Awards Blog Week

Wednesday, July 18th

Jul
18

Voice Awards Blog Week - Wednesday

The Role of Media in Shaping the Suicide Narrative 
For a television show or movie to properly depict the realities of suicide, it is essential to ensure that there is a message of hope, even if there is a devastating death that is portrayed, according to CVN Vice President & Suicide Prevention Expert, Dr. Caitlin Thompson.

One such movie that Thompson feels meets the criteria is the 1980 film Ordinary People, starring Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland. IMDB describes the film as the “accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.”
 
“This is an amazing film that depicts the complexities of suicide/suicidal behavior (and grief in general) so incredibly well,” Thompson says.  “As painful as this film can be, there is a strong message of hope and recovery.  This is so important because we know that, even in the midst of unimaginable pain, people can and do feel better over time, with treatment, and with support.”
 
Thompson also cites this article from the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention that summarizes the most responsible ways to explain suicide in both journalism and in entertainment.
 
Another essential recommendation from Thompson is to post the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number at the end of any TV episode/film/article that discusses suicide. That number is 800-273-8255.
 
By Anthony Guido
CVN Vice President, Communications & Marketing
 
Note: This blog post was created as CVN’s contribution to SAMHSA’s Blog Week effort around a variety of challenges in the mental health realm. The topic for July 18 is Suicide Depictions.
 

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities.  If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s web resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Get Involved

With your help, we can make a mentally healthy nation for all.

HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE CONTRIBUTE TO THE CAUSE

American Psychiatric Association Foundation
800 Maine Avenue, S.W., Suite 900
Washington, District of Columbia 20024

Connect

Main Line: 202-559-3888
Donor Help Line: 202-559-3396
Toll Free: 1-888-35PSYCH
E-mail: apafoundation@psych.org

Copyright © 2018 American Psychiatric Association Foundation