More Obituaries Acknowledge Suicide as Openness on Mental Health Grows

October 27, 2023

The Washington Post

As conversation about mental health grows, more obituaries are naming suicide as the cause of death. In the past, obituaries and death notices rarely mentioned suicide due to the stigma and shame surrounding it. Now, there is increasing awareness that talking about suicide can help promote healing. While it’s important not to share the details of a suicide death, such as method or location, the topic can and should be discussed responsibly, said Dan Reidenberg, a psychologist and managing director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention. Acknowledging a loved one’s cause of death can also help the grieving process, say experts. However, loss survivors should not be pressured to share information or use language they are uncomfortable with, as saying the word “suicide” may be hard for some.

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