Supportive homes and communities

Linking bullying, depression, and suicide

October 25th, 2012 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media

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Chaplain Diane Weber Bederman says Amanda Todd’s death was more about mental health than bullying

In the aftermath of the death by suicide of Amanda Todd, an avalanche of news reports, opinion articles, and social media postings focused on harassment, bullying, violence, and the problems these behaviours pose for individuals and society. Media reports about Amanda Todd’s experiences and state of mind acknowledged that she had described anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. But her death was portrayed as being directly caused by the experience of being bullied.

Diane Weber Bederman, a multi-faith hospital chaplain, wrote in the Toronto Star that “Amanda was a textbook case study of depression. She had previously attempted suicide. She was a cutter. She cried all the time. She admitted to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol—a common response to mental illness, often the result of the pain, physical, emotional and spiritual, that comes with mental illness.”

Diane went further, asking why Amanda Todd was not placed in a psychiatric unit. Diane writes: “She would have been safe there. She would have felt protected. She would have received all types of therapies in one place—cognitive, talk, medication and spiritual issues.”

We speak with Diane Weber Bederman.


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