Equating bullying and suicide is too simplistic

According to the Huffington Post, correlating bullying to suicide is too simplistic. While they can be connected, there are other factors that contribute to a person’s decision to commit suicide.

Just focusing on the cause and effect of bullying could be harmful to developing a suicide prevention program because it leaves out other factors, such as mental illness, family problems or relationship problems, according to the article.

Ann Haas, a senior project specialist with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention told the Huffington Post that “bullying is so at the top of our consciousness that we’re bending over backwards to get it into the story. Years and years of research has taught us that the overwhelming number of people who die by suicide had a diagnosable mental disorder at the time of their death.”

Haas continues by saying “”I am very concerned about the narrative that these stories collectively are writing, which is that suicide is a normal, understandable response to this terrible [bullying] behavior.”

I agree. It will do no good if we let youth see suicide as a way out from a terrible [bullying] situation. By doing this, we will only make suicide OK if you are victimized.

But it is much more complicated and deep than this. We cannot simply look for a simple answer, as much as we would like to. Suicide is a complex thing and it is something we will never understand. We search for answers because it is easier to understand why he/she committed suicide then to keep questioning. But the truth is: no one will ever know fully why someone committed suicide- except the person who did it.

Giving suicide a simple justification will not do anybody any good since suicide is not a simple subject. In order to do any good and help prevent suicides, we need to be willing to look at all the factors, and not just focus on a scape goat.

In my opinion, suicide prevention is an essential program that needs to be implemented in every school across America. Together we need to show our youth that suicide is not the answer, but it will only make a difference in the program deals with every aspect of suicide.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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One Response to Equating bullying and suicide is too simplistic

  1. Pingback: Bullied Dakoda-Lee Stainer dies |

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