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,” […]

Is the narrative the message? The relationship between suicide-related narratives in media reports and subsequent suicides

Objectives: When journalists report on the details of a suicide, the way that they contextualize the meaning of the event (i.e. the ‘narrative’) can have significant consequences for readers. The ‘Werther’ and ‘Papageno’ narrative effects refer to increases and decreases in suicides across populations following media reports on suicidal acts or mastery of crises, respectively. The […]

Celebrity suicide of a pre-World War 1 spy: Colonel Redl and the Werther effect

Background: Alfred Redl, a colonel in the Imperial and Royal General Staff and Deputy Director of Military Intelligence for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was a leading figure of pre-World War I spying. The “spy of the century,” as he has been called, died by suicide in Vienna on May 25, 1913. It was a big news story […]

The Tool for Evaluating Media Portrayals of Suicide (TEMPOS): Development and application of a novel rating scale to reduce suicide contagion

Research suggests that media adherence to suicide reporting recommendations in the aftermath of a highly publicized suicide event can help reduce the risk of imitative behavior, yet there exists no standardized tool for assessing adherence to these standards. The Tool for Evaluating Media Portrayals of Suicide (TEMPOS) allows media professionals, researchers, and suicide prevention experts […]

Systematic review and meta-analyses of suicidal outcomes following fictional portrayals of suicide and suicide attempt in entertainment media

Background Guidelines to encourage responsible reporting of suicide in news media are a key component of suicide prevention strategies. Recent guidelines have been developed on portrayal of suicide in entertainment media although the relationship between these portrayals and subsequent suicidal behaviour has received considerably less attention in research. Methods We conducted a systematic review and […]

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 […]

The effects of publicized suicide deaths on subsequent suicide counts in Israel

This study investigated associations between indiscriminate media reporting of suicides and later inflated suicide counts among Israel’s general population between the years 2008 and 2012. Self-inflicted deaths that received post-suicide media exposure (referred to as “publicized suicides”) were selected via Google news search-hit appraisals. Distributions of suicides were inspected and risk ratios (RRs) estimated by […]

Reporting on suicide between 1819 and 1944: Suicide rates, the press, and possible long-term Werther effects in Austria

Background: Suicide rates increased substantially in many countries during the 19th century. Little is known about news coverage on suicide in this period and its relationship to suicide rates. Aims: To test whether there was a covariation between the quantity of reporting and suicide rates and whether the press relied on sensational reporting. Method: A […]

The Foxconn suicides and their media prominence: Is the Werther Effect applicable in China?


Belief in a Werther Effect: Third person effects in the perceptions of suicide risk of others and the moderating role of depression.

Werther Effect research has almost solely focused on the behavioral level of media effects. Clinically relevant predispositions like depression as well as the moderating role of media effects on a perceptional level have been omitted so far. To bridge this gap, we reanalyzed the data of an experiment conducted by Rustad, Small, Jobes, Safer, and […]