Oh look! Local body election dirt!! And it didn’t come from a blog.
Hastings mayoral candidate Adrienne Pierce has come under fire for joking about suicide publicly on Facebook.
Ms Pierce said last night she did not want to talk about her post as she had deleted it and apologised to a person who was offended by it.
“I have spoken to the person who was a friend of a friend and I deleted it straight away, so that is it really.”
In response to comments about one of her opponents, Guy Wellwood, possibly being elected as mayor on October 8, Ms Pierce posted on her open Facebook page, “hide the sharp instruments and rope come October 9th” and “yes she screamed from the rooftop as she jumped on October 9th”.
A Havelock North resident whose family had been affected by mental illness saw the comments made by Ms Pierce and shared the post.
She said: “I would have thought someone running as a mayoral candidate would be more sensitive to mental health issues and not be joking on their personal Facebook page about self harming and suicide.”
The woman said she was so appalled that a public figure would post such things on a public forum and said she was not the type of person to be a leader for the district.
“People in influential places should be trying to stop the stigma.”
When contacted last night Mr Wellwood said he was shocked by Ms Pierce’s comments but did not want to start some sort of Facebook war.
Nice “hit job” there from the NZ Herald. I bet donuts to knob of goats poo that this story was shopped to them by Adrienne Pierce’s opponents.
But because it doesn’t come via a blog, it’s… ok?
“Oh, but that’s not very dirty”, you say? Just wait and see what the Herald does with this:
Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, Shaun Robinson, said comments like these from someone in a public leadership role were very disappointing.
“Teaching people to take threats of suicide seriously is one of our most fundamental suicide prevention messages. Making these threats in jest reinforces myths that suicidal people are just looking for attention.”
He said there were already enough barriers that prevented vulnerable people from asking for help.
“When public figures make light of their real pain and suffering it can become very difficult for some people to speak up about their experiences and access the support they need.”
He was also concerned by the way she mentioned particular methods as it could influence vulnerable people to choose that method to take their own life.
“People can go from having a passive idea that they want to die to an active plan.”
There you go. Adrienne Pierce’s carelessness has just been made a likely precursor to someone being pushed into suicide.
Total audience of her Facebook post? A few thousand at most.
Total audience of NZ Herald?
I was sitting in court yesterday listening to the Esteemed Mr Nicholas Hager, Esq, and he said that blogs had lower editorial control. That stories, when presented to ‘proper’ media would simply not run because there was a higher standard to be met.
I love the smell of hypocrisy for lunch.
– Alice Lock, NZ Herald