Suicide can be infectious

May 22, 2013   ·   0 Comments

Suicide, according to new data published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, can spread to teens that have been exposed to it either on a personal or public level. Having a classmate die from taking their own life, can cause many students to think more suicidal thoughts whether they knew the student or not, as stated by researchers.

School goers who have a higher risk of suicide infection are those who are 12 to 13 years of age. They are said to be 5 times more likely to have contemplations about suicide versus those who had never witnessed such an event. In fact, 15 percent of these young people thought about ending their life after hearing of a classmate who did so, while 3 percent had the same thoughts without having had the exposure.

An alarming rate, 7.5 percent of these 12 to 13 year old Canadians actually attempted to kill themselves after a student went for suicide in their school. Still, the number is lower with no contact of that incident, at 1.7 percent for this age bracket.

“For vulnerable kids, this might be the first time that they think that suicide might be a solution to their problems,” Ian Colman, who authored the study told CTV News, “And that is really dangerous, especially if that suicide is portrayed in a very romantic fashion and there is a massive outpouring of love from the community. Then for those vulnerable youth, they might see suicide… as an attractive solution.”

Teenagers between the ages of 14 and 15 were only 3 times as likely to attempt suicide after such an incident. That number decreases for the 16-17 year old students, who are only twice as likely to go forth with the tragic act.

Researchers believe that since discovering how suicide can spread, prevention programs should be made available in school to those who have lost a friend to suicide but also to other classmates who weren’t close to that student.
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