No laughing matter: Insensitive comments about self-harm in QC mall denounced

September 15, 2022 - 4:10 PM
A man stares through the window (Damir Samatkulov via Unsplash)

Several online users flagged the insensitive comments over an instance of self-harm in a mall in Quezon City.

The posts have received thousands of laugh reactions and dark jokes from the public.

In a now-deleted post, a Facebook page has also used the incident to promote products. 

Psychologist Riyan Portuguez called out the Facebook page’s social media manager, saying the post was “ironic,” especially in September, known as Suicide Prevention Month. 

A Facebook user also said that using suicide as a marketing strategy is inappropriate and insensitive. 

Mental health issue

While many laughed at the incident, others pointed out that it was a serious matter of mental health.

“Funny at first, but this is a serious issue on mental health,” a Facebook user said

“Some people here are not familiar with depression. This is not funny at all. Be sensitive. That person might be undying inside and does not want to prolong the agony. Depression kills. It is real!” an online user said

Others also questioned those who left laugh reactions on posts about the incident. 

“If this is suicide—is suicide funny? Question for those who reacted with a laugh emoji,” a Facebook user wrote

“Anong nakakatawa?! Bakit ang daming naka-laugh react??? Nakakatawa yung muntik may mamatay dahil sa suicide? Ano baaaa!!!,” an online user frustratingly said in the comment section. 

RELATED: Why suicide is not something to joke about

“The link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established in high-income countries, many suicides happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses,” the World Health Organization (WHO) noted.

Those experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse or loss, and a sense of violation “are strongly associated with suicidal behavior,” WHO said. 

A 2019 WHO report shows that 77% of global suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries. 

Around the world, more than 700 thousand people die from suicide every year, and many more people attempt to kill themselves, the same report shows

Last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported a 57% increase in the country’s suicide rate in 2020 compared to the preceding year.

RELATED: UP Baguio’s Facebook post for suicide prevention raises concerns

For those who may need mental support and assistance, they can reach the National Center for Mental Health through the following hotlines:

0917-899-8727 and 0966-351-4518 (Globe and TM subscribers), 0908-639-2672 (Smart and TNT subscribers), and 1553 or 1800-1888-1553 (toll-free landline). 

Individuals may also contact Hopeline, Natasha Goulbourn Foundation’s crisis support service, through the following numbers: 

0917-558-4673 or 2919 (Globe and TM subscribers), 0918-873-4673 (Smart), 02-8804-4673 (PLDT).