A mental health advocate has expressed concern over the continued tendency of sharing suicide images, suicide notes and suicide details on social media.
In a statement yesterday, Dennis Mwafulirwa who leads Connect Plus Resource Institute (CPRI) asked the general public and concerned online media platforms to desist from sharing such suicide content considering that the tendency has potential to cause more harm, including copycat suicide.
Mwafulirwa added that the tendency is also counterproductive to efforts aimed at preventing the prevalence of suicide in the country, as it encourages the spirit of silence and a barrier to help seeking behavior due to the related stigma and stigmatization of the suicide victims and their families.
” Regardless of our own beliefs on suicide, we need to treat the victims of suicide and their families with dignity and respect,” he said.
He went on to say that suicide is a complex public health issue, and there is no one single explanation as to why someone ends up taking their own life.
Mwafulirwa also said that it is unhelpful to simplify the cause of an individual’s suicide or judge their action thereto.
“We thus, encourage the general public to immediately delete and NOT share any such content whenever it comes your way, and let the sender know the impact of sharing such content,” he said.
He then invited and ask group administrators on various social media platforms to exercise restraint, and promote safe and healthy sharing of information as the groups exercise their freedom of speech and press.