Suicide prevention services struggle with demand after celebrity suicides: Study

Updated:2 weeks, 6 days ago IST

New Delhi, May 02 (ANI): Suicide prevention services including hotlines and websites are considered critical resources in helping curb the rate of suicides worldwide. However, when a celebrity dies, the authorities may lack the resources needed to meet the sudden increase in demand, a recent study suggests. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people in the US between the ages of 10 and 34, and the suicide rate continues to rise. Suicide rates generally follow predictable patterns, with increases in the spring and a second, smaller increase in early summer. But certain events, like highly-publicised celebrity suicides, can serve as "shocks" that cause a sudden spike in suicide deaths. To test the ability of crisis mental health services to meet a sudden increase in demand for help, a team of researchers in the US looked at increases in suicide rates within 30 days of Robin Williams' suicide on August 11, 2014. It also looked at changes in help- and information-seeking related to suicide, and changes in the percent of calls the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) was able to answer after Williams' death.

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