Monday, November 24, 2014

Suicide prevention and public regulation

Today, I attended a lecture of suicide prevention. Needless to say, it is a serious issue.

According to the lecturer, suicide prevention is multidimensional. As major psychiatric illnesses are one of the main causes of suicide, there is two definite way for suicide prevention: protect the patients with mental disorders from suicide, and guard healthy people from onset of mental disorders. In addition, healthy people also commit suicide. Dealing with this matter is also important.

A concrete method to reduce suicide in public level is to restrict the means of suicide. In Hong Kong, the majority selected falling from a high building as a method of suicide. Additionally, carbon monoxide intoxication became popular in early 2000s. The authorities made a decision to regulate the selling of charcoal, which produce carbon monoxide. Additionally, safe fences were attached by some dangerous places. As a result, suicide rate in this region was reduced dramatically.

Regulating some risky materials is silly, but quite effective solution. In Japan, unfortunately hanging is the most frequently selected for suicide. Getting rid of all ropes from the society is unrealistic. On the other hand, gun-shooting is popular in the US. I believe strict regulation of firearms reduce suicide considerably, yet it would be difficult for American people.

My past entry: Gun control and Nash equilibrium

The influence of the media report was also referred. After a suicidal case of celebrity, some media reports the case in detail. It can make some sensitive audiences depressive, or even self-destructive. It is certain that suicides increase just after such incidents. In terms of preventing second tragedy, the media should be responsible. Actually, there is a guideline of media report about suicidal case.


It is shameful that Japanese media seem not to adhere to this guideline. Though I am not sure about the situation in foreign countries, I sometimes see sensational reports by foreign media.

I guess it is difficult for the media to refrain reporting shocking news, because we are waiting for such stimulation. Reporting the fact dramatically is justified for the purpose of survival for the media companies. However, such an attitude cause emotional reaction of citizens, finally destroy the social security. As a libertarian, I am opposing to any restriction by the authority, nonetheless, there are some necessary regulation, as well as gun control.

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