Encouraging a depressed person to kill themselves is unforgivable

When I was a high school English teacher as a class exercise I got my senior students to design and create posters to discourage people their age from committing suicide. One poster that a young man (who was often a trouble maker in my class) created was so good that I asked him if I could keep it up on my wall for other students to see the following year. I wish I had a photo of it to show you all now. He wasn’t an artist so he cut out of magazines dozens of pictures of beautiful women. He made a collage of all these beautiful women and at the top of the poster in large letters, he wrote one word… Suicide? and at the bottom underneath all the images of the beautiful women, he wrote Nah…

I loved it because it was all about giving a young man a reason to live. The below news story disgusts me because it is about a depressed young man who had a beautiful young girlfriend. She could have given him a reason to live. He needed her to care about him enough to encourage him to live. He needed hope, he needed support but instead, she actively encouraged this 18-year-old to kill himself. She didn’t tell him to seek help. She didn’t tell him that she loved him and he would get through this. She didn’t tell him that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Michelle Carter: ‘Are you gonna do it today?’ Conrad Roy: ‘Yes.’


…Sitting in his pickup truck one summer day in 2014, Conrad Roy III wavered about his plan to kill himself.

He was scared, he texted his girlfriend.

“Get back in,” she replied.

The 18-year-old who had long battled depression and suicidal thoughts succumbed to carbon monoxide. He was found dead the following day in a US parking lot several miles outside Boston. His girlfriend, 17-year-old Michelle Carter, was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Now, nearly three years later, Carter is on trial in a controversial case that experts say raises new and contentious questions: Can a person be charged and convicted in someone’s death even if she was not with the victim when he died? And can a person be found guilty of killing someone based solely on what she said in text messages?

Such questions are critical in a state such as Massachusetts, where assisting someone to commit suicide is not considered a crime.

The prosecution’s most damning evidence against Carter, who is now 20: dozens upon dozens of text messages in which she was pushing Roy to commit suicide. The two exchanged hundreds of text messages for several days before Roy killed himself. She insisted that he would be better off dead.

“You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain,” she told him in one message. “It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die.”

…In some of the exchanges, Carter appeared to be faulting Roy for delaying it.

“So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then, all that for nothing … I’m just so confused like you were so ready and determined,” she said.

When Roy said he wanted to go back to sleep, Carter suggested that “now” is the best time to do it because everyone was still sleeping.

“Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one’s really out right now because it’s an awkward time,” she said.

In another text that same day, she kept pushing.

“I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready … just do it babe,” she said.

Shortly after Roy died, Carter told a friend that she was talking to him on the phone when he killed himself.

“I helped ease him into it and told him it was okay … I could’ve easily stopped him or called the police but I didn’t,” she texted her friend.

…”Prosecutors will have to prove that Carter causes Conrad Roy to kill himself and essentially caused his death,” Medwed told The Washington Post. “defence lawyers are going to argue that he’s had suicidal tendencies predating their relationship. They’re going to emphasise that he was alone in his car, that ultimately it was his decision.

…She faces up to 20 years in prison.




Where to get help:

Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757

Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email [email protected]

0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.

Kidsline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).

 – The Washington Post

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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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