Suicide Contagion
"If you love deeply, you will grieve deeply.
If you deny your grief, you deny the reality of the love you felt"

Diane McKendree

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What is Suicide Contagion?

Suicide contagion is suicide clusters and imitative deaths occur as a result of suicide reporting in the mass media and the glorifying or romanticising of suicide victims via permanent markers or memorials, such as park benches, memorial walls, flagpoles etc. In other words it means that suicide contagion occurs as a result of being influenced by another suicide.

Research Articles

Suicide Contagion

Excerpts:   “Media portrayals should avoid oversimplifying the many factors that cause the suicide, and not sensationalize the suicide, glorify the victim, or make suicide appear to be a rewarding experience or an appropriate or effective tool to achieve personal gain. Other guidelines suggest that the media not depict the method of the suicide.”

“Glorifying or Romanticizing Suicide or Persons Who Commit Suicide: Reports of community expressions of grief (e.g., public eulogies, flying flags at half-mast, and erecting permanent public memorials) should not be overemphasized. Such actions may contribute to suicide contagion by suggesting to susceptible persons that society is honoring the suicidal behavior of the deceased person, rather than mourning the person’s death.”

After a Suicide: Answering Questions From Students

Excerpt: “What is an appropriate memorial to a suicide victim? The most appropriate memorial is a living one such as a scholarship fund or contributions to support suicide prevention. The American Association of Suicidology cautions that permanent markers or memorials such as plaques or trees planted in memory of the deceased dramatize and glorify their actions.”

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