From Robin Williams to Chester Bennington, the sorrow and agony surrounding suicide speaks loud.
But when a community member or a young college student dies by suicide, there’s a consensus as the media that it’s hands off; we don’t speak of it.
As someone who has lost her brother to suicide, I understand it’s a sensitive topic and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I’ve always been wary of telling people my brother died when I was 10 years old because of the question that would follow — “How did he die?” As time has passed, I’ve learned to become grateful for those uncomfortable discussions because it gives me the opportunity to share the struggle my brother and many others have been through.
Although this topic is difficult to discuss, it needs to be talked about.
Dixie State University’s community has recently lost a few individuals to suicide. With these deaths and September being Suicide Awareness Month, the Dixie Sun News staff felt the need to create an issue surrounding this topic in hopes that it will start a conversation.
Like my newspaper adviser says, “Just because we’re not talking about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”
When it comes to reporting deaths of individuals, our policy states, “The Dixie Sun will report on deaths of DSU students and employees. Every effort must be made to determine the cause of death and contact the family. In the case of confirmed suicide, the cause of death should be included. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the editor-in-chief. The language should be the individual ‘died by suicide’ rather than ‘committed suicide.’ Resources like hotlines or the Health & Counseling Center should be added to the end of such stories.”
I have a passion to speak up and provide help for those struggling, and this issue is a way to do that. My hopes for this issue are not to glamorize suicide or re-open wounds, but to start a conversation that is long overdue.