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How Suicide Can Affect a Group

Home 5 About Suicide Prevention 5 How Suicide Can Affect a Group

Suicide contagion is the idea that being exposed to suicidal behavior can be contagious, like some diseases. People are exposed to suicidal behavior directly (through contact with a person who dies by suicide) or indirectly (through media, social media, television, and movies). People at greatest risk of contagion are those who witness the suicide or are exposed to the immediate aftermath; those who identify strongly with the victim; and those who have experiences or live in struggles that put them at risk for suicide. These may include having a history of substance misuse, mental health issues, or experiences of family conflict.

What is a suicide cluster?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a suicide cluster may be defined as “a group of suicides, suicide attempts, or self-harm events that occur closer together in time and space than would normally be expected in a given community.”