Learning how to talk about suicide in a social world

Learning how to talk about suicide in a social world

NEGAUNEE — In a world of rampant social media, news travels fast – which makes most people more careful about what they say. Law enforcement and health officials came together to teach how and what to say about a sometimes tough subject. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac has more.

Words can be powerful tools. Which is why local law enforcement, health officials and journalists came together for “Reporting on Suicide” Training.

Anybody can report news today, especially because of social media. So officials from the Marquette County Health Department say everyone in the community has a role in preventing and promoting healthy discussions of suicide.

Marquette County Health Department Health Educator Sarah Derwin says, “Words have power, and when you put words out there they can spread, and spread very fast. So especially in regards to suicide, one of our take–homes here was treat it delicately. It could be your family member, it could be your friends, people you work with. There is family out there that could be grieving, hurt, maybe not even know. So to be very, very careful with what you’re putting out there on social media.”

On top of teaching how to talk about suicide, these professionals also encouraged prevention programs and getting people help.

Michigan State Police Trooper Stacey Rasanen says, “I know it’s a tough question, but if you have a person – a family member, a friend, a co–worker – or somebody that you come across, and you see that they’re depressed and they’re not feeling well, ask that hard question. ‘Are you suicidal? Are you thinking about taking your own life?’ You need to ask them that question and you need to stand by them and get them the help that they need.”

Dial Help is a U.P. organization that provides community support and outreach.

For more information on Dial Help click here.