Preventing media from broadcasting suicide attempts

Preventing media from broadcasting suicide attempts

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Saad Saleem started this petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

A total of 293 findings from 42 studies on the impact of publicized suicide stories in the media on the incidence of suicide in the real world were analyzed by logistic regression analysis. Studies measuring the effect of either an entertainment or political celebrity suicide story were 14.3 times more likely to find a copycat effect than studies that did not. Studies based on a real as opposed to fictional story were 4.03 times more likely to uncover a copycat effect. Research based on televised stories was 82% less likely to report a copycat effect than research based on newspapers. A review of recent events in Austria and Switzerland indicates that suicide prevention organizations can successfully convince the media to change the frequency and content of their suicide coverage in an effort to reduce copycat effects.

More than 40 scientific papers have been published on the impact of suicide stories in the media on suicide in the real world.

Explanations of media impacts on suicide have generally been framed in terms of social learning theory. Basically one learns that there are troubled people who solve their life’s problems (for example, divorce, terminal illness, dishonor) through suicide. Mentally troubled persons in society may simply copy the behavior of troubled people in the suicide stories.

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