If the audience was expecting a debate, they may have left disappointed.
Globe and Mail reporter Andre Picard and Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, spoke about the media’s portrayal of mental health during a Longwood’s Breakfast with the Chiefs forum December 12.
While billed as being about mental health, much of the discussion centered around whether media reporting of suicide prompts copycat actions.
The issue is particularly timely given the Vancouver School Board has challenged the media in its reporting on the death of Amanda Todd, the teen who took her life after experiencing on-line bullying. The Board has suggested the media follow guidelines established by the Canadian Psychiatric Association for reporting on suicide.
Picard challenged the science used by the CPA to establish the guidelines and suggested that the “hush hush” attitude towards suicide actually created more stigma.