Tributes have been pouring in across the country for young Galway hurler Niall Donoghue, who passed away last night. Not one news organisation has said that Niall took his own life.
Mental health is something that we, as a nation, are almost terrified to bring up. We sweep it under the carpet, convinced that if we ignore it it will go away. But mental health problems are not a stray dog that you have to starve to be relieved of. Mental health problems are something that we need to start talking about, and we need to talk about now.
Believe me. I’ve been there. I’ve battled depression, and I won. If I hadn’t, I’m honestly not sure if I would still be here.
The media’s reluctance to talk about people taking their own lives because of mental health issues isn’t going to make it go away. Ignoring this problem is a problem in itself, and quite frankly it will only make it worse. We’re journalists, and one of the core ideas behind our career is to tell people the truth. No matter how dark it may be.
Organisations such as Please Talk and the Samaritans encourage people young and old to seek help if they’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s time the media did the same.