Thank you Travel Channel for taking a stand on suicide prevention. Thank you for saying enough is enough. I am not rejoicing in the fact that Adam Richman may have just lost his career, but I am glad the media finally took a stand and fought with us. Maybe a shift in the views of the media is starting to take place, this media who has portrayed us so appallingly. Maybe this is one of the first steps in erasing the stigma.
Adam Richman is not the first person to say something insensitive about suicide or mental illness and I’m sure he won’t be the last. While I praise the Travel Channel for its actions, I am more concerned about why Mr. Richman made the comments that he did. It would have been so easy for him to just simply apologize for the hashtag that offended so many people and change it to something else. Instead, he went on the attack and still did not see how inappropriate his suicide inspiring comment was. I would like to invite Mr. Richman into a conversation so he can learn just how damaging his words are. I would like to educate him on mental health illnesses and suicide prevention.
He should not be treated with harshness. This is a great learning opportunity for him and teaching opportunity for us. You don’t win someone over with negative actions. Remember the old saying? “You catch more bees with honey.” Well, here’s our chance to teach someone (as we would a friend or relative) why their comments were so inappropriate and that those words can cause harm. Let’s look at this as an opportunity, not an excuse to rant.
He has the ability to carry our message much farther by being in the public eye, if he does not feel like he is being belittled or treated harshly. He can become a great advocate for our cause, if he is gently educated. Education is key.