Daniel PollackDaniel Pollack, professor at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, examines the issues underlying the case of Michelle Carter texting Conrad Roy to kill himself, which he eventually did, in “Text Taunting to Suicide: The Role of Child Protective Services.”

While he feels the First Amendment issues are important, Pollack wants to tease out from the event “what constructive role might a public human services agency or child protective services (CPS) play in discouraging this macabre text taunting to suicide activity.”

Agencies can:

  • Evaluate the extent to which local patterns of suicide are following national trends
  • Determine whether initiatives adopted elsewhere might be suitable in their locale
  • Identify unique local risk factors and behaviors that may make suicides more likely
  • Spearhead discussions and common misconceptions by underscoring that suicides are preventable

“Many different stakeholders have a keen interest in suicide research and prevention,” he concludes, “including academics, health and mental health practitioners, and policy planners. Public human services agencies and CPS must have a presence as well.”

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