This may be a triggering post, please take care when reading:
I have probably over tweeted about this but it is an example of an issue that is very close to my heart. Whilst I understand that journalists have the right to report on stories such as the story that they reported on yesterday I was appalled that they decided to show a photograph of the woman at the top of the building. For those of you who are not aware a lady was suicidal and was thankfully talked down from the top of our local shopping centre roof yesterday. However someone photographed this and the local paper published it on their website and via twitter. The Samaritans have issued clear guidelines on reporting suicide in the media and by publishing the photo along with the article the newspaper was clearly ignoring these.
This photo is not only distressing for the lady concerned and may add to her mental distress but it actually could be very triggering to others in a similar situation and there is no need to show a vulnerable person in this distress in order to highlight a story.
When I was about 19 I came very close to being that lady on top of the building in our local multi story car park and so this really resonated with me yesterday. I know that if it hadn’t been for a text at the right time from a guardian angel I might of got further and I also know that if someone had photographed me it would of haunted me for years to come and definitely had a massive negative impact on me as well.
Not only is the photograph an issue but the website is also allowing people to comment on the article. This is filled with messages of support and kindness but sadly also with those comments from people who don’t understand mental illness and who are judging. The stigma surrounding mental illness is sadly high and the comments are indeed showing this.
I am asking for the photograph to be removed from the article and the ability to comment to be disabled and I hope that the editor reads this blog and maybe understand the impact this photo could have.