At State and Federal level there is an agreement with Governments, Media Chiefs, Coroners and other responsible authorities not to publicise suicide. When everything else is publicised one has to ask, “Whose interest is this really serving?” Also if this 40year old policy was working why has suicide risen so dramatically particularly in men?

In the 1960’s a process on a large scale began with closure of places of Safety for the Mentally ill. A mass program of “re-education” began of propaganda or politically correct, philosophically pure gender and commonsense neutered information because of the “official line”. As a result suicide fell under the banner of “modern stress” not mental illness and the “mentally ill were not dangerous”.

What was the reason for mentally ill having places of safety or Asylums?

Was it:

To lock up and throw away the key of those whom society “shunned” The sensitive claptrap of the anti physical, de-institutionalised environment


Historically most mentally ill people stayed only 6 months – 2years in institutions, but the facts never stood in the way of a good story.

Throughout history there has always been places of safety for the mentally ill be it monastery to hospitals. It is only in the past 30years that we have believed we can do away with these places of safety or Mental Hospitals.

The reasons for Asylums were:

  1. A place of safety or protection for the patient.
  2. Peace and quiet ora reduction in sensory stimulus (stress), which tended to agitate the patients.
  3. Return to of normal sleep patterns. (no sleep at all, sleep disturbance, sleeping all day and up and agitated all night – sleep reversal, commonly occur in mental illness).
  4. Return to a healthy diet: – not eating, poverty, over-eating or just very poor diet are common in serious mental illness.
  5. Return to a normal daily work/rest pattern.
  6. Basic level of physical health, diet, hygiene, treatment of mental problems all of which are neglected in mental illness.
  7. Protect suicidal patients from themselves.
  8. Protect society from dangerous patients.
  9. Establishment of a therapeutic community.

Nightly we are treated to TV adverts of the dying moments of accident victims to discourage people from driving whilst tired, drunk or speeding, nothing is said about privacy or confidentiality. Yet when a person attempts or talks of suicide in a treatment setting, his family is often not told.

We are treated to every aspect from conception to birth to surgical separation of Siamese twins but when a suicide-mentally ill patient is discharged into his parents or families care they are often told nothing on the grounds that it would breach the patients right to confidentiality.

The handful of prison suicides, get massive publicity but the 18 or more suicides per day get no publicity. When a suicidal patient is refused care and subsequently suicides it is seldom publicised, yet heart disorder, aides, cancer, epilepsy everything but suicide gets masses of publicity and funding – awareness campaigns.

The deliberate Official and media blind spot on suicide-mental illness must be the greatest public hypocrisy of the 20th century early 21st century.

Heart attack, serious injury, repository arrest, etc – all life threatening conditions are immediately admitted to hospital. Suicide-mental illness is the only life threatening condition where people are routinely turned away and this is something that has only happened in the last 30years.

Fanita Clark