Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2022). 43(45, 426-433. SIEC No: 20220953
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 a celebrity’s suicide. A series of χ2 tests, Spearman’s rank correlations, and logistic regression analyses were performed to compare the differences in emotional involvement and psychological impact after exposure to suicide news between distressed and nondistressed individuals. Results: A total of 1,258 Internet users responded to the survey (236 men and 1,020 women). Compared with nondistressed individuals, distressed individuals (n = 537) were more likely to feel suicidal (11% vs. 2%, p < .001) after reading the news. They were less willing to seek help when in need (62% vs. 77%, p < .001). All the variables remained significant after adjustment for sociodemographic variables in regression analyses. Limitations: The Internet-based survey may suffer from selection bias. Conclusion: Extensive media reporting of suicide stories has a profound impact on readers, particularly on vulnerable groups. Responsible reporting of suicide incidents is crucial for suicide prevention.