Schoolmates of Suicide Victims More Likely to Commit

According to a new study, teens that have a classmate that has taken their life are more likely to think about taking, attempt in taking, or taking their own lives. Dr. Ian Colman, an author who studies mental health at the University of Ottawa, says that the idea of suicide being contagious has floated around for years. Colman and his colleagues used data from a long-term national survey of over 8,000 students aged 12 to 17 in Canada. In this survey, students were asked about suicides of their friends, schoolmates, and their own thoughts on suicide. By the end of the study, researchers found that by the age of seventeen, one in four kids had a schoolmate who had committed suicide and that one in five students knew them personally. For students who were at the age of 12 to 13 who were exposed to suicide, researchers found that fifteen percent of those students reported to having thought seriously on whether they should take their own lives and seven percent had made an attempt. Students between the age of 14 and 15 had the same results as the previous group, however, students between the age of 16 and 17 who had not been exposed to a schoolmate’s suicide, reported to having thought or attempted to take their own life. Previous studies have shown evidence to support the idea of suicide being contagious. Nearly 4,600 people between the age of 10 and 25 commit suicide in the United States.

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