Yock Yock UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Yock Yock UPDATE

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Funny guy, The Quipster.

UPDATE: Joking about suicide? Not funny, a suicide prevention group says. See release on jump.

NEWS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee joked Tuesday that other candidates might be considering suicide because their level of support doesn't match their fundraising.

The former Arkansas governor, exaggerating, said other GOP presidential hopefuls were raising $100 for every nickel he had raised. "If I were some of these guys, I'd have to be sitting in a warm tub of water with razor blades," Huckabee said on MSNBC-TV.

Every day more than 80 families in the U.S. are ravaged by the painful loss of a loved one to suicide. Since 9/11 we have lost more than 180,000 Americans to suicide and left more than one million family members and loved ones left to deal with the wreckage. Each year more than 600,000 Americans attempt suicide and are hospitalized as a result. The toll is so profound that the rate of suicide in college aged young people ranks second only behind unintentional injury.

When a leading Presidential candidate uses suicide and specifically means to do it as a joke, it is grossly irresponsible and is a disgrace. It also must be met with an immediate rebuke from the mental health community. This is no joking matter. Lives are at stake.

As founders of 1-800-SUICIDE, which has connected more than 2 million callers in crisis to help and hope, we are outraged that Huckabee has shown such ignorance and lack of care in his use of suicide as a political tool to attempt to improve his standing in the race. More importantly, he and the rest of the United States should know that using this type of speech in a public way could cause irreparable harm and even suicide by its cavalier use.

In 2001 the Annenberg Foundation conducted research into appropriate use of the term "suicide" in the media, and how actual suicides should be covered to not cause suicide but to educate and help people understand that suicide can be prevented. Huckabee has set back that movement with his careless remarks. For more information please contact reese@hopeline.com.

The Kristin Brooks Hope Center/National Hopeline Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to suicide prevention, intervention and healing: by providing a single point of entry to community-based crisis services through innovative telephony and internet based technologies; by bringing national attention and access to services for postpartum depression and other women's mood disorders; through education and advocacy; through formal research and evaluation of crisis line services; and, by championing the need for national funding for community-based suicide prevention crisis services.

Source: National Hopeline Network, 1-800-SUICIDE

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