Jelena Dokic’s suicide-related social media post and the worldwide media’s portrayal of a story of survival: A natural experiment

Objective: Coverage and public communication about suicide represent a major public health concern given the potential for identification and imitation. Yet when celebrities survive a suicidal crisis, it presents an opportunity to model adaptive coping. Tennis star Jelena Dokic’s June 2022 Instagram post recounting her experience overcoming suicidal thoughts represents a unique natural experiment to […]

Suicide mortality in Portugal after 4 mediatized suicides from 1996 to 2020

Many international studies describe a relation between prominent and sensational suicide reporting and subsequent rises in suicide rates – the Werther effect –, especially when involving celebrities, but that relation has never been investigated in Portugal. In this article, we intend to examine whether there were increases in suicides in Portugal in the 3 and […]

Do media coverage of suicides and search frequency on suicides predict the number of tweets seeking others for a suicide pact?

We examined whether media coverage of suicides and frequencies of searching for suicide methods or suicide pacts predicted the number of users posting tweets seeking others for a suicide pact. Analyses of 6,119 tweets containing “suicide pact” posted on Twitter during a 6-month period revealed that the number of users posting tweets seeking others for […]

The Werther effect following the suicides of three Korean celebrities (2017–2018): An ecological time‑series study

Background The suicide rate in Korea was the highest among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) for 2013–2016 and 2018–2020. In korea, suicide was the leading cause of death among individuals aged 10–39, and the second leading cause of death for aged 40–59. Thus, this study aimed to examine the […]

Mental disorders and beyond in the quest to understand suicide: A reply to Joiner and Robison

We reply to the thoughtful commentary by Joiner and Robison (this issue) about the documentary Robin’s Wish. Joiner and Robison suggest that a major depressive episode may have been a proximal cause of Robin Williams’ suicide, but that stigma surrounding mental illness led the documentary to eschew a role for depression. We find this perspective […]

Robin’s Wish and the complex causal web of death by suicide

The documentary film Robin’s Wish aims to reclaim the media scrutiny around Robin Williams’ death, fixating on causation being solely attributed to a postmortem diagnosis of which Williams was unaware-Lewy Body Dementia. The film and other sources as well defined and animated the view that Williams’ death by suicide was fully a result of this medical condition, […]

Suicidal traits in Marilyn Monroe’s Fragments: An LIWC analysis

Background: Linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC), a computerized method for text analysis, is often used to examine suicide writings in order to characterize the quantitative linguistic features of suicidal texts. Aims: To analyze texts compiled in Marilyn Monroe’s Fragments using LIWC, in order to explore the use of different linguistic categories in her narrative over the […]

Exploring the singularity between Google searches and suicide deaths after celebrity suicides

The purpose of this study is to suggest the need to strengthen suicide prevention monitoring for the mentally vulnerable by analyzing the specificity and relation between the suicide search volume of Google Trends and the number of suicide deaths according to celebrities’ suicides. The focus of this study is on the high suicide death rates […]

Calls to helplines in Australia following media reports of Robin Williams’ suicide

Objective In the United States, there was an increase in calls to helplines following media reporting of Robin Williams’ suicide. We aimed to determine whether this was the case in Australia. Method The helpline services Lifeline and Beyond Blue provided us with weekly data on calls received for 2013–2015. We conducted interrupted time series regression […]

Differences in reactions to media reporting of a celebrity suicide between emotionally distressed and nondistressed individuals in Taiwan

Background: The differences in emotional reactions toward media reports of celebrity suicides between distressed and non-distressed individuals have rarely been explored. Aim: We aimed to explore differences in reaction patterns to the news coverage of a celebrity’s suicide between distressed and nondistressed individuals in Taiwan. Method: We conducted an Internet survey to assess the impact of the news coverage of […]

The impact of a widely publicized celebrity suicide on suicide-related internet search activity

Objective Media reporting of celebrities’ deaths by suicide are prone to suicide contagion effects. The aim of the current study is to examine whether the widely publicized celebrity suicide of Ari Behn in Norway was associated with changes in search activity of suicide-related terms. Method Search activity data for the terms “suicide,” “Ari Behn suicide,” […]

Characteristics of online comments following high-profile celebrity suicide

Background: On the Internet, individuals can freely read about or talk to others about suicide. However, little is known about the nature of these online interactions and the potential impact on users. Aims: This study aimed to examine the characteristics of online comments following high-profile celebrity suicide, comparing top-rated comments with controversial comments. Method: Comments from a popular thread on […]

More depression-related public concern after the suicide of a pop star in China: Evidence from the online big data platform

Background: In China, we have seen dramatic increases in public concern over depression and mental health after the suicide of some famous persons. The objective of this study is to investigate the changes of search-engine query patterns to monitor this phenomenon based on the tragic suicide of a young Chinese pop star, Kimi Qiao. Methods: The daily […]

Examining adherence to suicide reporting guidelines in initial reports on high-profile celebrity suicides

Background: Research has found varying adherence by media professionals to recommendations for reporting on suicide. Aims: We compared adherence to recommendations for what to do and what not to do when reporting on suicide in initial reports of high-profile celebrity suicides in major media outlets. Method: A total of 100 articles published in news outlets during 2004–2018 and reporting on […]

Celebrity suicide: Media recommendations for reporting suicide not followed

Background: Increased suicides following media coverage of celebrities’ suicide deaths have been documented in several countries. Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide were published to provide guidance for media professionals when covering suicide. Research indicates guidelines have been poorly followed. Aim: We aimed to determine whether the recommendations were similarly observed when studying two online news organizations’ coverage of a celebrity’s […]

Coverage of Robin Williams’ suicide in Australian newspapers

Background: Australia’s Mindframe guidelines provide media professionals with advice on ways to safely report on suicide. Aims: We aimed to examine the extent to which Australian newspaper articles on Robin Williams’ suicide conformed to the Mindframe recommendations. Method: We searched Factiva for relevant articles appearing in Australian newspapers during the 5 months following Williams’ death on August 11, 2014. We retrieved […]

Suicide mortality in Canada after the death of Robin Williams, in the context of high-fidelity to suicide reporting guidelines in the Canadian media

Background: Evidence suggests that suicide mortality increases after high-profile suicide deaths. Indeed, suicide in the United States increased disproportionately after the suicide by suffocation of well-known comedian Robin Williams in August 2014. Such increases are often attributed to irresponsible media coverage of the suicide contributing to “copycat suicides.” However, recent research indicates that the mainstream […]

Association of Logic’s hip hop song “1-800-273-8255” with Lifeline calls and suicides in the United States: Interrupted time series analysis

OBJECTIVE To assess changes in daily call volumes to the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and in suicides during periods of wide scale public attention to the song “1-800-273-8255” by American hip hop artist Logic. DESIGN Time series analysis. SETTING United States, 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2018. PARTICIPANTS Total US population. Lifeline calls […]

K-pop and suicide: Marginalization and resistance in the Korean pop industry

The suicides of the famous K-Pop idols Goo Hara, Choi Jin-ri,1 also known as Sulli, and Cha In-ha drew enormous media attention worldwide, particularly in South Korea at the end of 2019. According to a report by the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2019, the suicide rate in South Korea was the tenth highest in […]

“I feel like I know them”: The positive effect of celebrity self-disclosure of mental illness

The media is often perceived as portraying psychiatric illness in a negative, stigmatizing, and even dangerous fashion [1]. In the case of suicide, it has long been documented that media reporting of celebrity suicides can lead to an augmentation in copycat suicides, a phenomenon historically known as the Werther effect [2]. After the highly publicized […]

Is perceived burdensomeness present in the lives of famous suicides? A lack of support for the interpersonal theory of suicide

The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS) proposes that suicide is the result of three constructs: perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belonging, and the acquired capability for suicide. To explore the presence of these constructs in suicides, two raters read 72 summaries of biographies of famous suicide for the extent to which each construct was present. Only 11 […]

Public response to suicide news reports as reflected in computerized text analysis of online reader comments

Previous research has documented the rise in rates of suicidal behaviors following media reports of celebrity suicide. Whereas most research has focused on documenting and analyzing suicide rates, little is known about more subtle psychological effects of celebrity suicide on the public, such as despair and feelings of abandonment. The Internet has revolutionized the responses […]

The impact of widely publicized suicides on search trends: Using Google Trends to test the Werther and Papageno effects

The objective of this study was to examine the impact of widely publicized suicides on the Werther and Papageno Effects using internet search trends. A list of widely publicized suicides from 2010 through 2018 was compiled along with dates of death for each of these individuals. data were then collected for searches for “how […]