OTTAWA, Canada (CBSDC) – As it turns out, suicide is contagious among teenagers.
A recent Canadian study found that teens that went to school with or were friends with someone who committed suicide faced an increased risk of seriously contemplating or attempting suicide.
The study, which was published on Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, based their findings on survey results from more than 22,000 Canadian adolescents. The research discovered that there’s strong enough proof that a person’s suicide can bring about “copycat” suicides from their friends and peers.
“Broader interventions are probably a good idea instead of focusing on high-risk groups,” Ian Colman, Canada Research Chair in mental health epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, said to the Globe and Mail.
Perhaps one of the more interesting discoveries is that it doesn’t necessarily matter how well young people know someone who commits suicide.
“This kind of suggests it doesn’t matter how close you are,” Colman said. “It’s just the idea of suddenly being confronted with a suicide in your peer group. [It] can have a real dramatic impact.”