Why mental health advocates use the words ‘died by suicide’

From NBC News:

With the news this week of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, reactions and commentary are pouring in on social media. People who never met them are grasping for answers as to why these icons could meet such a tragic end. Specifically they may be asking, “How could they do this?” It’s a common question in the aftermath of a suicide that, though typically innocent in nature, is loaded with crucial misunderstandings about suicide and, in some cases, mental illness.

What exactly is the problem? Partly it’s in the language. Asking “how someone could do this” puts responsibility on the victim, just as the phrase “committed suicide” suggests an almost criminal intent. Depression and other mental illnesses are leading risk factors for suicide. This is why mental health advocates usually employ the term “died by suicide,” as it removes culpability from the person who has lost their life and allows a discussion about the disease or disorder from which they were suffering.

Read the full article.