An emotional Sean Lowe took to his blog earlier this week to address the apparent suicide epidemic that is affecting all Americans, but especially his reality TV comrades. The former Bachelor cited Lex McAllister as the third former contestant to have committed suicide recently, and he is aiming to take action against these tragedies.
Lowe wrote, “There are moments when the glittery, perfumed, hairsprayed, romantic facade of The Bachelor is penetrated by hard truths. Three people from the Bachelor family committing suicide should cause us all to pause.” He continued, “I don’t know whether reality TV contestants have a higher rate of suicide than the rest of America. But I do know that ‘there has been a 31% increase in the number of suicides in the U.S.’”
Clearly, Lowe is taking this entire epidemic and the welfare of his fellow Bachelor stars very seriously. So much so that he asked his audience to remember a couple of things about suicide. He first reminds everyone that suicide is not the answer. His views are rooted in his own spiritual beliefs, but also says, “That doesn’t mean we condemn people who have made that choice.”
He then concluded by saying there is always hope for those who are sad. Some commenters on his blog, however, cautioned him against speaking in broad strokes. Lowe quickly updated his blog to include his disclaimer that mental illness is a very real thing that he is no expert on, and his intentions were only to take some time to shed some light on what is happening in his community and around the country.
It certainly is great to see someone with a platform speaking out against the stigma of suicide and trying to do something to stop it. Every person’s reasons are different and suicide is complicated. But concern, empathy and open dialogue about the topic are definitely the best place to start.
If you suspect someone might be considering suicide, or you have struggled with those thoughts yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).