We have now a protracted technique to go relating to having a wholesome, productive dialogue about mental health. Working example? Reactions to the demise of former NFL participant Aaron Hernandez.

Hernandez, 27, died by an apparent suicide in a Massachusetts jail on Wednesday, based on studies. Hernandez, who was convicted of homicide for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, was serving a life sentence on the time.

Twitter customers had been fast to mock Hernandez’s explanation for demise, making memes about suicide:


Others ridiculed the method of his death. Some additionally made in-jest references to the Netflix present “13 Causes Why,” which is a few highschool scholar who dies by suicide and leaves behind tapes for her classmates:


However there’s no purpose suicide must be fodder for off-hand humor. Hernandez could have had a homicide conviction, and the circumstances surrounding his demise are complicated, however that doesn’t give anybody a go to joke concerning the manner he died. Suicide ought to by no means be a punchline.

Greater than 44,000 Americans die by suicide yearly, making it the 10th main explanation for demise in america. And the phenomenon is simply getting worse: A 2016 report discovered that suicide rates have increased by 24 percent within the final decade and a half, making it an enormous public well being difficulty.

Making a joke of suicide at Hernandez’s expense stigmatizes this very actual drawback. It sends the message that others who could also be considering self-harm might be thought of “lower than” or decreased to a 140-character quip.

The extra individuals who deal with suicide with the sensitivity it deserves, the extra doubtless folks with psychological well being points are to get assist. Research recommend that stigma hooked up to psychological sickness usually silences those that expertise it and prevents them from seeking treatment.

Hernandez’s habits when he was alive was inexcusable. His explanation for demise is a tragedy. The 2 are mutually unique. Speaking about suicide with something lower than empathy does a serious disservice to those that battle with psychological well being points day by day.

Should you or somebody you realize wants assist, name 1-800-273-8255 for the National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You may also textual content HELLO to 741-741 free of charge,
24-hour assist from the Crisis Text Line. Exterior of the U.S., please
go to the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database
of assets.