Literature

Beware of Copycat Suicide, Suicide that Mimics Others


“Reporting of celebrities who commit suicide risks being copied by the individuals or fans who read it. This condition is known as copycat suicide, which is suicide by imitating someone else.

Beware of Copycat Suicide, Suicide that Mimics Others

Halodoc, Jakarta – Recently, the international entertainment world received sad news about the death of Jason David Frank. He is the green ranger in the series Power Rangers which aired in 1993 to 2000’s. His death was also unusual, namely because Jason committed suicide.

As a result of these events, experts warned of the existence copycat suicide or suicide contagious, That is contagious suicidal behavior. Copycat suicide imitating suicidal behavior after learning about another person’s suicide. Be aware, news about a celebrity’s suicide can have a sizable copycat effect on the individual or their fans.

Reasons Copycat Suicide Can Happen

Research shows that suicides tend to increase after there is news or news about a celebrity’s suicide.

1. Following suicidal behavior by celebrities

According to research on Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, greatest example of copycat suicide namely after the news of the suicide of film icon Marilyn Monroe. In his time, the suicide rate had increased by about 12 percent in August 1962, the month he died. Similarly, in the five months following comedian Robin Williams’ suicide in August 2014, suicides increased by 9.85 percent.

2. Following media portrayals of suicide

Although scientific evidence suggests that there is a strong relationship between copycat suicide and news reports of suicides, but physical depictions of suicides still prove to be more impactful.

According to research on Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent, it was discovered that within a few months after the premiere of the first season of the series Netflix title 13 Reasons Why, which is about a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide, there was a 28.9 percent increase in suicides among children aged 10 to 17 years. The increase in suicides mainly affected boys in that age group.

3. Following the suicidal behavior of a loved one

Meanwhile research in 2015 on Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that adolescents who learned of a friend’s suicide attempt were twice as likely to attempt suicide the following year. The risk is even greater if the friend actually died by suicide.

All of these findings point to the different ways a single suicide can lead copycat suicide or suicide transmission.

Ways to Prevent Suicide Contagion

Though copycat suicide It’s not fully understood, but mental health professionals have developed guidelines to prevent it. This prevention guide is intended for mass media reporting, individuals, parents, teachers, and the community.

1. Prevention guidelines for mass media

The link between suicide transmission and mass media reporting of suicide has led global organizations to develop guidelines for media reporting of suicide. Some of these guidelines include:

  • Make a factual and concise report on suicide.
  • Avoid oversimplifying the reason for suicide by pointing to recent negative life events or stressors.
  • Avoid describing or describing the methods the individual used to commit suicide.
  • Avoid advocating for individuals that their suicidal behavior helped them achieve their goals.
  • Provide information about emergency contacts (hotline) for suicide prevention, and other ways to help someone contemplating suicide.

Following the development of the guidelines above, there is some evidence that suicide prevention can help. For example, when the vocalist of the Nirvana band, Kurt Cobain, was reported to have committed suicide in 1994. The mass media in Seattle (United States), where he lived and started his career, emphasized reporting on mental health care and suicide prevention, as well as the pain of loss experienced. his family.

In the months following Cobain’s death, suicides were declining in the Seattle area. Meanwhile calls to emergency suicide prevention contacts are increasing.

2. Prevention guide for parents, teachers, and other members of the community

When children and young people are exposed to the news of suicide, parents and teachers can help minimize the risk copycat suicide in several ways, namely:

  • Talking to children about death will take time. Even so, parents should not stress the method of suicide. However, don’t also try to keep what happened a secret or try to avoid conversations about suicide news.
  • Check on the child regularly by having conversations that allow the child to express his feelings, about what happened and suicide in general.
  • Schools and places where children and youth hang out can offer suicide prevention programs, which provide training in how to respond when a friend has suicidal thoughts.
  • If a child or adolescent exhibits stress, pressure, or admits to feeling suicidal, parents should take them to a mental health professional.

That’s all there is to know about copycat suicide. As previously mentioned, if your child admits that they are under a lot of pressure to the point of having suicidal thoughts, immediately visit a mental health professional. Fathers and mothers can also make medical appointments at selected health facilities through the application Halodoc. come on, downloads application Halodoc right now!

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Reference:
Very Well Minded. Retrieved 2022. What Is Suicide Contagion? (And How to Prevent It)
Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Retrieved 2022. Suicidal Disclosures among Friends: Using Social Network Data to Understand Suicide Contagion
nature. Retrieved 2022. Age and sex subgroups vulnerable to copycat suicide: evaluation of nationwide data in South Korea



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Dr. Eka

A doctor, wife and mother of three. Spread the world with valid information.

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