Pros and cons of extensive Robin Williams coverage

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The coverage of the Robin Williams’ suicide this week has been pretty extensive and so has the discussion about it on social media.  

It’s a heavy focus on the touchy subject of taking one’s own life.

“And so someone who’s already been having these thoughts could be having an even harder time not trying to go through with that because Robin Williams’ death is all over the news now” said Alexa Moody of Mechanicsburg, who started the organization “Please Live” back in 2010 while she was only 19 years old.

It has since obtained non-profit status. “Please Live” seeks to educate and empower people about suicide and other mental health issues and connect those at risk with those who can help them. 

Moody says there is an upside to the Robin Williams coverage.

“We’re talking about it,” she said. “We’re talking about depression. We’re talking about suicide and these are topics that people don’t want to talk about and so having them available, starting this conversation is so important.”

Another downside to the coverage; the copycat syndrome. Moody said the only high-profile celebrity to commit suicide that could possibly compare to the coverage Williams’ death has received was musician Kurt Cobain back in 1994.

“His death was all over the news. There were a lot of copycat suicides after Kurt Cobain and unfortunately it has been documented that suicides go up after the death of a celebrity,” Moody said.

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