Culture & Entertainment

Suicide Contagion Can Help Predict Teenage Suicide

By: Guest Blogger
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Suicide Contagion Can Help Predict Teenage Suicide

By: Guest Blogger
New research suggests that Canadian youth exposed to a schoolmate's suicide may be more likely to consider or attempt suicide. The study was published in the Canadian Me dical Association Journal and looks at this phenomenon known as "suicide contagion". The idea that suicide can be contagious is a worrisome one, especially for vulnerable kids who see suicide being romanticized, with outpourings of love from a community. The study found that exposure to suicide was associated with suicide attempts, and was highest among 12 to 13 year olds though the risk also existed for older youth. It also found that teenagers did not have to personally know the person who had committed suicide to be affected. Simply being exposed to the suicide presented the same risk, and effects could still be present two years or more following the event. This is important in terms of intervention--it's not only those close to the individual that require support, and the risk window can be much longer than previously thought. While not every mental health professional buys into the idea of suicide contagion, hopefully, this new research can bring more awareness to the issue of teenage suicide and prevent even one unnecessary death.    
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Suicide Contagion Can Help Predict Teenage Suicide

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