Jeremy Clarkson article in The Sun
Posted Saturday 3 December 2011
Commenting on Jeremy Clarkson's column in The Sun today about suicide, Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said
Jeremy Clarkson's article in The Sun is extraordinarily tasteless, and shows an utter lack of understanding of the tragedy of any suicide. Anyone who has ever contemplated suicide seriously or lost loved ones will be shocked by his insensitive tone and needless graphic detail.
Mind and fellow mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness will be making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission urging them to investigate this article.
Every single suicide is a tragedy, and there is an important debate to be had about railway suicides. Our colleagues at Samaritans have an excellent partnership with Network Rail and have already helped to reduce the number of suicides on the railway through sensitive, but focussed work.
Sadly there is still a great deal of stigma and misunderstanding about suicide and mental health problems. The fear of people's reactions can make it incredibly difficult for people to come forward and seek help and this can have tragic consequences.
Any celebrity, even Jeremy Clarkson, has a responsibility to be cautious when discussing a sensitive topic like suicide in the media. There is evidence from research in the UK and around the world that media representations of suicide can and do lead to copycat behaviour. The media has a duty of care to present suicide in a responsible way.
If you need information or advice about mental health problems, or need
somewhere to turn for support, call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm, Mon-Fri), or visit www.mind.org.uk
Notes to editors:
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We're here to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support. www.mind.org.uk
- For more information, interviews or case studies please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M:07850 788514 E email@example.com ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
- For sensitive and responsible advice on reporting on suicide, please use the Samaritans Media Guidelines http://www.samaritans.org/media_centre/media_guidelines.aspx