Linked below is an article in today’s Boston Globe, written by a staff writer. If you are unable to access it, feel free to email [email protected], and we’ll send you a copy for personal use:
The article makes the point that, while experts and studies disagree about whether teen suicide is contagious, the phenomenon of clustering and the reaction of mental health professionals and communities indicate that it is.
While this article deals only with teen suicide, the indicators that publicity around suicides of any kind may lead to more suicides led the US Center for Disease Control, in 1989, to issue guidelines for preventing suicide contagion (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00031539.htm).
Studies in Oregon show that the suicides there have increased since legalization of assisted suicide in 1997 at a rate consistent with suicide contagion. None of these studies counted assisted suicides as suicides; the increase was in the general, non-assisted suicide rate. Here are some links to the studies or reports on them: