Year: 2005 Source: Melbourne, VIC: Program Evaluation Unit, University of Melbourne, (April 2005). 21p. SIEC No: 20070308

This report reviews studies of the portrayal of suicide in television drama & films & its potential consequences. The literature on the impact of fictional on-screen suicides on actual suicidal behaviour is equivocal but provides some support for an imitation effect. The majority of studies have demonstrated completed & attempted suicide rates show unexpected rises after such screenings, or have mixed results, but some have found no evidence of any effect. The impact of video footage of fictional suicidal characters on attitudes & opinions regarding suicide produces contradictory findings. Further research is warranted. (46 refs.)