Let's Talk About Suicide And Disability By Bethany Hoppe

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Christine Mason Miller said, “At any given moment you have the power to say: This is not how the story will end.” A recurring theme for the last two years has been high-profile suicides in conjunction with a dramatic spike in the national average of suicide and suicide attempts. Given the gravity and level of surprise at last week’s two celebrity losses, the media has finally begun to focus its lens beyond the alarming statistics that we’ve known about since 2016, and steer towards a conversation about the root cause of the issue. According to the CDC, the suicide rate has risen 30% since 1999. Half of those are linked to mental illness, and 15% to depression. 

The disability community has not gone untouched by suicide as a population, or by one of its own high-profile members with the loss of Verne Troyer. But unlike public reactions to suicide by high-profile newsworthy personalities, public reaction to suicide by people with disabilities, celebrity or not, commonly border on understanding and condoning, rather than grief and prevention. According to a Disaboom study, 52% of American survey respondents would choose death over disability. There is an overlying sense that the choice to end one’s life was simply based on the fact that they were disabled to begin with, and it is accepted as reasonable. This reinforces that living with a disability is not quality of life; people quickly decide they could never deal with having a disability themselves, and the hardships to survive in what seems to be an un-accepting and inaccessible world is too much for anyone based on the evidence. So silently, lost lives become justified simply because a world that is perfectly capable of accommodating everyone, is yet to fully integrate the largest minority in the world.

To read more of this timely article by Bethany Hoppe please go to: http://www.mobilewomen.org/2018/06/lets-talk-about-suicide-and-disability.html
Posted by Sparky on Jun 13, 2018 11:03 AM America/New_York