I mean no disrespect to the memory of Dan Vickerman or the family who survives him but his death is a classic example of the way the media tip toes around the issue of mental health in some instances and tramples all over it in others.
When I first heard the news of his death I thought he had died of natural causes. The public was left to conclude that the poor man had fallen into such a pit of despair that he felt he had no other way out than to take his own life.
I understand fully that much of this is done in order to spare his family and friends undue anguish and that is to be applauded. The media react with restraint now that the man has gone. Meanwhile, on the Gold Coast however, they were showing slightly less restraint.
As the Courier Mail so delicately put it, Grant Hackett breaks silence, followed by an equally illuminating link, Why brothers came to blows. Why the rest of Australia needs Hackett to break his silence and tell us anything about his issues is beyond me. Leave him and his family alone to get on with what is clearly a difficult journey. This isn’t an episode of Melbourne Housewives or Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
As for the issue of suicide, let’s be a little more blunt no how painful it may be. More Australians take their own lives annually than die in car accidents or from melanoma. Worse, the figures are increasing.
The time has come to bring this issue into the light where it can be discussed openly and honestly. The time has come to call a spade a spade. If not, we’re just going to keep reading more and more headlines like Dan Vickerman’s.