Thursday, May 23, 2013

Needed: New approaches to defuse 'suicide contagion' among teens

Experts on adolescent behaviour say the apparent susceptibility of Canadian teens to the idea of suicide shows the need to change public discussion about this sensitive topic.

Among the suggestions being put forward are finding new ways to refer to the act, to put it in a more appropriate context and training crisis-intervention teams to be more aware of how young people can respond to a suicide in their midst.

A study published May 21 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported that teens who knew of schoolmates who took their own lives were more likely to consider it or attempt it themselves — a phenomenon the authors call "suicide contagion."