Jeremy Clarkson sparks further outrage over suicide comments
TV personality and journalist Jeremy Clarkson has sparked outrage from mental health charities after branding those who have killed themselves on railways as ”selfish”.
Clarkson recently stirred anger amongst the public after his comments on the BBC’s The One Show suggesting that public sector strikers should be ”shot in front of their families” generated 21,000 complaints.
Earlier on this month Clarkson caused further outrage after writing in a newspaper column that people who kill themselves on railways are ”selfish”, as in the words of the TV presenter they cause ”immense” disruption among commuters. Clarkson went on to say:
“Every year around 200 people decide that the best way to go is by hurling themselves in front of a speeding train. In some ways they are right. This method has a 90% success rate and it’s extremely quick.
“However, it is a very selfish way to go because the disruption it causes is immense. And think what it’s like for the poor train driver who sees you lying on the line and can do absolutely nothing to avoid a collision.”
Mental health charities have condemned Clarkson for his stance, describing his comments as ”extraordinarily tasteless”.
Chief Executive of leading mental health charity Mind, Paul Farmer, said: “I think there will be many people who have lost loved ones to suicide and people who have contemplated suicide that will think it in extremely bad taste.
“It stands out like a sore thumb from what is increasingly a more supportive approach to suicide by the media. People will feel like he is trivialising the subject and dismissing people who have taken their own lives. I think it’s extraordinarily tasteless. This is a man who really doesn’t understand what he is talking about.”
Later on in his column, Clarkson referred to individuals who jumped in front of trains as “Johnny Suicide”, and revealed that he thought trains should continue on their journeys as soon as possible – leaving body parts for foraging animals.
Chief Executive of mental health charity Sane, Marjorie Wallace has said that Clarkson has obviously never experienced the mental anguish that could lead people to such acts.
If you or someone you know are feeling emotionally vulnerable then it is important that you seek professional help and advice as soon as possible. Visit your GP who will be able to provide you with support and advice about the most appropriate action.
Talk therapies have long since been used as a method for addressing emotional and psychological issues and if you would like to find out more about how a counsellor could help you, please visit our ‘Types of Distress’ page for information about the various areas of counselling.
If you do not feel comfortable talking to an individual in person about your problems then Samaritans run a 24-hour help line and also offer email support. Visit the Samaritans website to find out more.
View and comment on the original Guardian article.