Sunday, November 09, 2008

On 11 October 2008 BBC Switch's Revealed investigated the spate of suicides in Bridgend. A day later Sunday Life on BBC 1 looked at the suicide of Shaun Dykes and the behaviour of onlookers. The director of Derby City Mission, Alasdair Kay, said in an interview on the programme that we've lost the moral absolutes of right and wrong. The Bible, he said, gives us a moral framework - a way to live.

Suicide is often associated with depression but there is another factor which is rarely considered by the media and this was the case with both Revealed and Sunday Life. The same was also true when Michael Portillo tried to find out why a school friend, Gary Findon, might have taken his own life. Michael's documentary, Death of a School Friend went out on BBC2 on Friday evening, but can be seen until next Friday.

Michael Portillo: When I was 15, a friend of mine killed himself. Coming into school one Monday to find that he was dead - and by his own hand - left us all utterly bewildered. Gary and I had just done our exams together. He was incredibly bright and he knew he'd done well. It was summer 1969, a couple of days before his 16th birthday. His classmates felt both shock and guilt; none of us could understand why he'd done it. Nearly 40 years later we still can't.

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