Suicide clusters and contagion.
Youth suicide is one of the most serious preventable health problems in the United States. It is the third leading cause of death among adolescents. According to a recent national survey of students in grades 9-12, nearly 15% of respondents had seriously considered suicide and 7% actually had attempted suicide in the previous 12 months. Moreover, suicide can be a contagious behavior that schools have the opportunity–and responsibility–to prevent. Providing assistance in the aftermath of a youth suicide requires a delicate and well-planned approach; responding to the occurrence of multiple youth suicides provides an even greater challenge.