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The role of mass-media in suicide prevention 

The role of mass-media in suicide prevention
The role of mass-media in suicide prevention

Michael Westerlund

, Sylvia Schaller

, and Armin Schmidtke

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date: 05 July 2022

Although disputed, most researchers in the field of suicide and mass media agree that the studies carried out to date have substantiated the existence, under certain circumstances, of genuine suicidal ‘contagion’ from suicide reports in the media. The fact that many studies have demonstrated an association between media reporting of suicide and actual suicidal behaviour has also prompted the issue of various types of recommendations on how the media should report on the subject of suicide to avoid imitative behaviour. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss and identify the problems associated with research on suicide and the media, with a number of seminal articles published over the years serving as examples.

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