Media Effects On Suicide

Decent Essays

The topic of suicide has become increasingly recognized as a significant social problem worthy of more attention. The mass media remains a powerful tool to address the problem and the stigma surrounding suicidal ideation. The stigma surrounding suicide is a multifaceted construct with affective, cognitive and behavioral components that influences attitudes and behavior patterns at both the individual and population levels (Niederkrontenthaler et al. 2014). Measures such as federal antidiscrimination legislation have been demonstrated to be a significant foundation against stigmatization of suicide. However, several factors of the stigma process are beyond the scope of legislation and is critical to be linked with preventive programs that can positively influence people’s perceptions of suicide or to increase help seeking across diverse populations (Niederkrontenthaler et al. 2014).

The counter argument to targeting the broader public to raise awareness of the social problem is that it can negatively impact vulnerable individuals. Thus, the unfavorable impacts may be due to a …show more content…

2014). There are various forms of broad public health messaging/media-based approaches that aim to reduce the epidemic of suicide. These include campaigns to specifically decrease the shame attached to mental illness and increase public understanding of suicide, media campaigns to increase help-seeking as well as efforts to thwart copycat suicides (Niederkrontenthaler et al. 2014). Over the past two decades, a reduction in the stigmatization by influencing public perceptions of suicide has been significant (Niederkrontenthaler et al. 2014). Regrettably, there are many inconsistencies between mainstream media reports of suicide and actual suicide in the population, which can generate and uphold stereotypes of suicide (Niederkrontenthaler et al.

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