Tuesday 25 September 2018

Celebrity suicide is not a fashion to be copied

Robin Williams
Robin Williams

John Masterson

The language brigade have pulled me up once or twice for using the phrase "committed suicide" and told me it is "died by suicide". They then give me a lecture telling me it is no longer a crime. This is real tinkering around the edges of the issue. Sadly, it does nothing to address the problem.

Now it is much loved chef Anthony Bourdain. I had never heard of Kate Spade until last week. The day her death was reported, I learned that she was a big deal, and one colleague showed me the bag that she carries most days. Sure enough, it was a Kate Spade. "This was the first good work bag I ever bought, and I love it," she told me. I notice Ivanka Trump lost no time in leading the tributes to Kate.

I have no idea what goes on in the minds of L'Wren Scott, Alexander McQueen, Avicii and Robin Williams to name but a few. All were highly successful people who made decisions to end their lives, and all of their deaths were widely reported. In the four months after Robin Williams's death there was a 10pc increase in suicide in the United States, with a disproportion number using the same method, and a peak in the male 30-44 age group.

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