Samaritans criticise Morrissey following singer’s ‘suicide is admirable’ comments

The outspoken singer discussed struggles with depression in a new interview

Mental health and emotional support charity the Samaritans have issued a statement regarding Morrissey‘s recent comments about depression and suicide.

In a wide-ranging interview with Larry King earlier this week, the singer described his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, among a host of other revealing topics.

“For me, [depression] didn’t ever get better. I’ve had it for many, many years, I refer to it as the ‘black dog’, and it doesn’t go away,” Morrissey told King. “There is no cure.”


Asked whether he has ever consider suicide, the former Smiths frontman added: “It crosses everybody’s mind, everybody thinks about it. Even people who mistakenly assume they are happy. They think of disappearing and having enough, and many people do, taking control and saying ‘no more, no more of this silliness’. It’s admirable.”

Responding to the comments in a statement to NME, Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “Every suicide is a tragedy and it is important to remember that every one of the 6,000 people who take their own lives each year in the UK is somebody’s parent, friend, relative or child.”

“Suicide is complex and it’s important to remember that usually there is no single cause. The human cost is enormous, both in terms of the people who are struggling to cope and their friends and family left behind.”

In 2009, Morrissey claimed that “self destruction is honourable”, telling Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs: “I always thought was. It’s an act of great control, and I understand people who do it”.

He added at the time: “I’m fascinated by the brevity of life and how people use their time, because we all know the actual fall. It’s as inevitable as you and I sitting here now… So we all know this fact, and with that in the forefront of our mind in everything we do, I find it fascinating how people spend their time.”

NMEAndy Hughes/NME

Morrissey also told King of his recent cancer scare, saying: “Cancer was found, yes. I had Barrett’s, which is the oesophagus. They scrape it occasionally and I have medication. But I’m OK. Lots of people have it and they fade away. Lots of people have it and they don’t fade away.”