The portrayal of suicidal behavior in police television series

Fictional suicidal behavior can affect the public as a risk or a protective factor, and it may reflect how suicide is perceived in a society. However, surprisingly little is known of how suicidal behavior is portrayed in television series. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of televised fatal and non-fatal suicidal […]

Tweeting celebrity suicides: Users’ reaction to prominent suicide deaths on Twitter and subsequent increases in actual suicides

A substantial amount of evidence indicates that news coverage of suicide deaths by celebrities is followed by an increase in suicide rates, suggesting a copycat behavior. However, the underlying process by which celebrity status and media coverage leads to increases in subsequent suicides is still unclear. This study collected over 1 million individual messages (“tweets”) posted on Twitter that were […]

The Bridge


Suicide in the North West: a Review of Non-Residential and Outdoor Suicide Locations

To help support an effective regional response in the northwest region of the United Kingdom, the North West Public Health Observatory was commissioned to analyse non-residential suicide locations. This report discusses suicide locations with multiple events & prevention strategies. The research methodology is described. Results are discussed in terms of suicides & open verdicts & […]

Suicide in Movies: Gender and Choice of Suicide Method (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter draws attention to an important agent of socialization to gender roles – the mass media. In particular, it is contended women & men learn about gendered suicide methods in the narratives of films. Its central hypothesis is that method of suicide is a cultural & gendered idiom, which is learned & reflected in […]

Copycat Effects of Fictional Suicide: a Meta-Analysis (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter provides a quantitative review of the literature on fictional suicide (movies, novels, & plays) & its effects on contagion & imitative suicide in the real world. Hypotheses are tested on under what conditions the fictional stories will be most likely to elicit copycat effects. This study supplements a previous review which only examined […]

Future Work: Points of Departure and Data Sources (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

In this concluding chapter, Stack & Lester discuss selected points of departure for research that would fill important gaps in the knowledge base. Included in their survey are: the neglect of non-Western art, the neglect of major art forms like film, photography, & music, & the weighting of positive versus negative definitions in images. The […]

Suicide and the Media: Identifying Some Blind Spots

This paper draws upon media texts in order to illustrate the important role of the media in facilitating discussion about suicide. The paper will explore the ways in which literature related to activism in the mental health field & the disabilities movement might inform our understanding of the preoccupation with the harmful effects of suicide […]

The Mimetic Power of Suicide. A Study About the Characteristics of Experiencing Suicide of Others

This paper addresses the experience of another person’s suicide. Clinical & sociological observations attest to the fact that witnessing another person’s suicide as an imminent or completed event may influence one’s own suicide ideation. The authors’ thesis is that prereflective, intersubjective experience of another person’s suicide raises explicit retrospective questions about the meaning of suicide […]

The Effects of a Celebrity Suicide on Suicide Rates in Hong Kong

The impact on suicides following the suicide of a famous Hong Kong pop singer was examined. Extensive & often dramatic media coverage resulted. The number of suicides in 2003 before & after the death of the celebrity were compared to the same period in 1998-2002. The case files & suicide notes of people who died […]

Effect of Media Reporting of the Suicide of a Singer in Taiwan: the Case of Ivy Li

This study investigated possible influences of media reporting of a celebrity suicide on subsequent suicide attempts & associated risk factors among suicide attempters. 63 suicide attempters registered in a surveillance system of the Taipei City Suicide Prevention Centre were assessed via a structured interview soon after media reports of the suicide of a young female […]

Estimating the Risk for Suicide Following the Suicide Deaths of 3 Asian Entertainment Celebrities: a Meta-Analytic Approach

This study aimed to estimate the risk for suicide after the suicide deaths of 3 entertainment celebrities in Asia during the first 4 weeks after the celebrity suicide & on a weekly basis. An ecological, retrospective time-series analysis & a meta-analysis of suicide deaths in Hong Kong (2001-2003), Taiwan & South Korea (both from 2003-2005), […]

The Cultural Dynamics of Copycat Suicide

Agent-based simulations, in combination with scan statistic methods for detecting clusters of rare events, were used to clarify the social learning processes underlying point & mass clusters. It was found that social learning between neighbouring agents did generate point clusters as predicted, although this effect was partially mimicked by homophily. The one-to-many transmission dynamics characterised […]

Suicide Clusters: a Discussion

This publication provides an examination of suicide clusters & the processes that contribute to their development & maintenance. A discussion on suicide opens the document & orients readers to the larger challenge of clusters. The next section examines a number of challenges in defining suicide clusters & provides some generally agreed upon criteria. The discussion […]

The Effects of Press Publicity on Suicidal Behaviour

This presentation discussed concerns about imitative suicide following widely publicized media coverage of a suicide that took place in a public venue in Switzerland. The existing research literature on this subject was summarized & new studies from England were also mentioned. Results supported the view that men were more likely to be affected by newspaper […]

Suicide and the Internet

Despite recent controversy, it is not known how easy it is to find websites relating to suicide on the Internet & what sort of information these sites contain. The authors searched the Internet in May 2007 for sites providing instructions & information about methods of suicide using the four most popular search engines (Google, Yahoo, […]

The Influence of Media Reporting of the Suicide of a Celebrity on Suicide Rates: a Population-Based Study

The impact of media reporting of a male television celebrity on suicides in Taiwan was investigated. All 10,945 suicides during 2003-2005 were included in the study. A Poisson time series autoregression analysis was conducted to examine whether there was an increase in suicides during the 4-week period after extensive media reporting. After controlling for seasonal […]

Sensitive Coverage Saves Lives: Improving Media Portrayal of Suicidal Behaviour

This study was commissioned as a means of examining the efficacy of existing media guidelines & to establish ways of working with the British media that would help support a sustained improvement in the portrayal of suicide & suicidal behaviour. The report outlines the results of consultations with journalists, suicide prevention agencies, & mental health […]

Is Impulsive Aggression the Critical Ingredient?

Self-destructive behaviour that may seem as complex as life itself, & as beyond our coping, may become intelligible when viewed as a specific brain disorder. This may be so with child, adolescent, & young adult suicide where a constellation of familial, societal, & psychological factors point toward the impulsively aggressive personality. The manner in which […]

Charcoal Burning Suicides in Hong Kong and Urban Taiwan: an Illustration of the Impact of a Novel Suicide Method on Overall Regional Rates

This study examined the impact of charcoal burning suicides on overall suicide rates & older-method suicide rates in Hong Kong & urban Taiwan. A trend analysis was done of the overall & method-specific suicide rates between 1997-2002. Suicides by charcoal burning increased rapidly within 5 years in both Hong Kong & urban Taiwan. This increase […]

Take Care – be Aware: Guidelines Concerning the Media Coverage on Suicide. How Journalists can Anticipate Imitational Suicides

This document provides guidelines for the media coverage of suicide. These guidelines were presented at a seminar in Germany for media professionals, psychiatrists, & communications students. Information is provided on the Werther effect, how important this effect can be in triggering suicide in high-risk groups, the dangers of sensational media coverage, & the type of […]

Clustering of Suicides Among People With Mental Illness

The aim of this study was to determine whether space-time & space-time-method clustering occur in a national case register of those who had recent contact with mental health services & had died by suicide & to estimate the suicide imitation rate in this population. Highly significant space-time & space-time-mthod clustering was found in a sample […]

Suicide and the Media

This article includes a discussion between D Shaffer and M S Gould.