Mass Gatherings May Promote Or Prevent Suicide

Posted on July 3, 2014

What do music festivals, football matches and religious gatherings have in common? They are all associated with changes to the citizens of the host city's risk of suicide, some for better, some for worse. New research supports the premise that it is the power of the "broken promise effect" that makes some mass gatherings a blessing for a community, and for others, a curse.

There has been next to no information on the effect of music concerts on suicide risk. However, lifetime studies have indicated that they can have a beneficial effect on physical health, social functioning and vitality. Putting the well-recognized, fanatical mass fainting phenomenon demonstrated by Elvis Presley and Beatles rock concert audiences aside, the relationship between music events and mental health has been neglected in the medical literature.

In the present study, the rate of suicide-related behavior in women was significantly decreased by about 20% over the 7 days after the 88 large music concerts included in the analysis. The researchers found this result difficult to interpret as the number of attendees at the music events in question added up to only 0.6% of the total population of the city and the multivariate analysis did not corroborate the results.

Sports events appear to be the only kind of mass gatherings for which the relationship with suicide has been relatively well investigated. While two studies in the literature reported no such relationship, a number of Canadian, British and U.S. studies have reported an increased risk of suicide for various professional sports games. For example in a Canadian study, young males (15–34 years old) had an increased suicide risk during the hockey playoffs.

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Category(s):Parenting, Suicide Prevention

Source material from Brain Blogger