This is something I’ve been thinking about since Barry passed away – the stigma of suicide. There is a particular reason for thinking about this, which I’ll bring up in a post in the near future, but for now I want to share some links on what people are saying on this topic. Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily reflect my own views, they are opinions of the writer of the piece only.

Letter to the Editor: We must overcome stigma about suicide – by Jane MacKenzie. An excerpt: “During Mental Illness Awareness Week we are encouraging everyone to think about their attitudes regarding suicide, to reach out to those who are in need and who may be at risk and to encourage the community to look at this issue as a public health problem.”

Stigma and Suicide – by Kevin Caruso. An excerpt: “Because of the stigma (the ignorant stigma, mind you) that still exists concerning mental illness, many people who need help do not seek it. Even though there is clear scientific data that indicates irrefutably that a physical connection exists with most mental disorders, many people still stigmatize others because they stupidly hold on to the misguided beliefs of yesteryear that people with mental disorders are weak or just lack will power.”

The Stigma of Suicide – by G. Tadros and D. Jolley. An excerpt: “Gradually, the stigma against suicide intensified in Europe and became a great sin, shame and eventually a crime.”

Religious Views of Suicide – An excerpt: “Conservative Christians (Evangelicals, Charismatics and Pentecostals) have often argued that because suicide involves self-murder, then anyone who commits it automatically goes to Hell.”

Update 13 October 2006: You can read my follow up post on this topic here – Is My Son in Hell?