Letter to the Editor

Re: commentary by Janlee Wong, MSW 6/25 -20141078835_ink_pot_

The question: “What is to be done?” (about misogynistic death by violence) posed and answered in your 6/25/14 article.

Demurring all your points made—which are well taken—the main real thing we can actually really do is to stop pretending these blood baths are not suicides. The blood splatter inevitably ends in the suicide of the gunman. That’s a suicide.

And we know that glamorizing suicides encourages copycats. We learned that first following the highly publicized suicide of Marilyn Monroe. Glamorizing narcissistic suicides with publicity encourages copycat suicides. Only publicizing the suicide of those who take the lives of others before their own has real predictable consequences. More chatter, more splatter. 

Knowing that we will absolutely cause more deaths by publishing angsty articles on the front page about these suicides should give us pause. Waving this particular bloody shirt to ask for more mental health funding is not without consequences. 

There is ample evidence that increasing funding to mental health improves the quality of life in a community. Discussion of these atrocities should be thoughtful, in context and does not need to command the front page.

 —Ellen Starbird, LCSW 

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