Don't Say Committed Suicide AnymoreI lost my son to suicide and want to urge people to stop saying Committed Suicide. It is an upsetting term to use. It is no longer a crime. My son was in extreme mental anguish and sadly chose to end his life.
Terms such as died by suicide, killed himself, took his own life and completed suicide are a bit gentler. Bereavement by suicide is such a turbulent rollercoaster mental turmoil and newspapers, reporters, online news and even celebrities must learn to be kind to us survivors. Comedians must stop using the subject as a source of comedy.
In the last few months I have heard Ricky Gervais use the term on the Graham Norton Show, then on a Radio 4 documentary Je t'aime and on the afternoon drama Test Case: Debbie Purdy and a documentary about her legacy and also Judi Murray in her Sunday Post column.
Other terminology may seem politically correct, but it is not just about changing our vocabulary, nor about feelings of shame, it is about being gentle to those left behind and to those who have unsuccessfully tried to take their own life. It is about not added to their emotional pain. The language we use can soften their burden.
I love my son and am proud of him. I only wish that he had reached out to us for help.
If you are in distress and are reading this article with suicide in mind, please talk to friends and family and please go to your GP, help is available.