Media reporting leading to more suicides

Posted on April 11, 2015

Photo: flickr

There were suicide clusters in various US college in the previous year and there media was shining its light on it. Does media influence our perception of the events and what impact does media have on the incidence?

When the rates of suicide and other deaths was compared, NYU was has rates very similar to other school. Media can impact our interpretation of events, it frame events in a way that make them feel like a cluster. If there is only one or few deaths, media would not report it, unless it occurred with an unusually short period or time or among a group of friends.

Reporting suicide clusters could subtly impact the suicide rate in the school or community as well: Suicide Contagion. If one over-identifies or connects with the people that died by suicide, it increases the risks.

It seems that the more someone is able to identify or feel connected to the person or people who have died by suicide, the greater the increase in risk. The school could use a post-intervention plan to prevent such scenarios from occurring. Identifying and intervening those at risk and provide emotional and clinical support to the campus as a whole.

Category(s):Suicide Prevention

Source material from PsyPost