Thursday, December 8, 2011
Free Hunter Brown - Suicide is not a joke or a ratings ploy
Free Hunter Brown
Suicide is not a joke or a ratings ploy
Earlier this season we heard that Hunter might be “suicidal”. This is not a word to throw around lightly. Given what is now commonly known about teen suicide, many viewers understandably became upset and came to view Hunter protectively. Viewers “adopted” Hunter in their hearts, even more so when we saw, as the season wore on, how Hunter was unafraid to call a spade a shovel. “Free Hunter Brown” became our new slogan.
But halfway through the season Hunter was shown as suddenly recovered from this potentially suicidal state and was newly portrayed as a “hormonal monster”. So which is it, teen in a fragile mental state, or HM (otherwise known as normal teenage boy)? Some viewers began to suspect that Hunter being suicidal had been used as a ratings ploy.
There are warning signs when a youth is contemplating suicide. Hunter did display one prominent sign: he stopped participating in an activity that he really loved (football). He was also portrayed as much angrier than usual, another sign. But there are usually signs.
Some resources will be listed below if you are interested in learning more or if your family needs help. Please know that you are not alone; my own family has dealt with this issue.
I think it is irresponsible to discuss a child’s depression / mental illness on national TV in such a sensational manner, totally lacking in sensitivity (in my opinion). But the Browns made that decision. What I find interesting is the lack of on-air information about having Hunter assessed by a mental health professional (also known as taking him to see a doctor). That is an essential step if a family is truly worried that someone is potentially considering suicide. Why would it be OK to talk about Hunter’s mental health, but not about treating him to improve his mental health? Once the Brown family made the decision to discuss Hunter’s mental health, the topic of treatment could not reasonably be considered out-of-bounds. Could it be that he was not taken for assessment? If so, I think that is the same thing as believing your child may have a broken bone and not seeking medical help. Irresponsible? Neglectful? A form of abuse? Perhaps.
Even worse, could it be that Hunter was never “suicidal” in the first place and that this was simply a ratings ploy or a misunderstanding of how normal teens might react to abnormal situations. If so, SHAME on you Janelle and Kody Brown. Post on the board and explain to us what really happened. We care about your son and love his Chutzpah; tell me I am wrong and that you took him to a doctor for assessment. Tell me you did not try to make money off the angst of your kid, angst that you provoked and created.
Resources for Suicide Awareness and Prevention:
Written by: Terrasola
**What an excellent article. This was bothersome to many. What are your thoughts on how this was played out on the show? MS