Home » Trending Health News » Media Coverage Impacts Suicide Rate, Report Finds

Media Coverage Impacts Suicide Rate, Report Finds

A new report finds that the media’s sensationalization of suicide can lead people — and especially teenagers — to end their own lives.

The report comes from the New York State Psychiatric Institute, which examined 48 suicide “clusters” — or suicide outbreaks — by studying newspaper coverage. The researchers found that these clusters are often preceded by a highly detailed news report (including time, place, and method) involving suicide in some way.

In other words, the more media coverage about a suicide, the higher the chances that it will spawn a series of other suicides.

New York State Psychiatric Institute representative Madelyn Gould says the amount of coverage a particular suicide receives has a huge impact on the chances of creating one of these suicide clusters.

“The more sensational the coverage of the suicides, and the more details the story provides, then the more likely there are to be more suicides,” Gould said.

The report found that the most dangerous suicides involved famous people. “After a prominent suicide in the community, suicide rates in that area might temporarily increase,” researchers indicated.

In fact, the report found that a single celebrity suicide — like the death of a famous musician, actor, or politician — could cause a spike in the national suicide rate.

The report, which has been published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, suggests it’s time for the media to take more care with the way it handles the topic of suicide.

“Our findings support the interpretation that media portrayals of suicide might have a role in the emergence of some teenage suicide clusters,” the report concluded.


We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat

  • 6 Signs and Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder
    Previously known as multiple personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder is a mental illness that often occurs due to exposure to extreme trauma during...
    Trending Health News
  • Psychosis: 6 Symptoms of a Psychotic Episode
    The National Alliance on Mental Health characterizes psychosis as “disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real...
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Early Warning Signs of Parkinson’s Disease
    Parkinson’s disease—a chronic and progressive brain disorder that causes loss of muscle control—affects nearly one million people in the United States alone.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Signs and Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
    Overeating from time to time is fairly normal, especially during a large holiday meal like Thanksgiving.
    Trending Health News
  • Hypothyroidism Diet: 6 Foods to Eat and 6 Foods to Avoid
    Hypothyroidism is a condition where the body produces an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones, which Healthline.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Causes and Risk Factors for Fibromyalgia
    This can be a complicated (yet common) pain disorder, affecting patients in different ways. The Mayo Clinic says experts believe fibromyalgia is caused by the way a patient's brain...
    Trending Health News
  • 12 Signs of a Nervous Breakdown to be Mindful of
    A nervous breakdown, also commonly referred to as a mental or emotional breakdown, is used to describe “a situation in which someone cannot function normally because of...
    Trending Health News
  • 12 Health Benefits of Pilates
    It's the workout routine that's taken the world by storm in recent years: pilates. Viewed from the outside it appears like some kind of twist on yoga, which is also designed to...
    Trending Health News
  • 12 Causes and Symptoms of a Vitamin D Deficiency
    Often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is made within the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
    Trending Health News
  • 5 Negative Effects of Sugar on the Brain
    Too much of anything can be bad for your health, sugar included. And while most people are aware of sugar’s negative effects on their waistline and heart, how it effects the...
    Trending Health News
  • 7 Most Common Stress-Related Health Problems
    Stress is a feeling most everyone is familiar with. While it may sometimes serve a helpful purpose, such as pushing us beyond preconceived physical and mental boundaries, it is...
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Causes of Eating Disorders
    With the abundance of food available to most Americans today, perhaps it's no surprise that eating disorders have become a fairly common problem.
    Trending Health News
  • 7 Ways Bullying Affects Health in Children
    We're heading back into the school season (sigh) and while there are many anti-bullying campaigns out there and an overall greater awareness of it, it's still bound to happen and...
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Facts About Mental Health and Minority Groups
    In recent years there's been more focus than ever before on mental health and the way mental health illnesses can affect our everyday lifestyles.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Surprising Ways Sun Affects our Bodies
    The sun—without it, living things on earth wouldn't exist. The light and heat from the big ball of fire in the sky sets the stage for our planet's livable conditions.
    Trending Health News