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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1992 Fall;22(3):350-63.

A suicide epidemic in a psychiatric hospital.

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University of Turku, Department of Psychiatry, Finland.


The authors report in detail on an epidemic of six inpatient suicides in a psychiatric hospital in Finland. Suggestion and identification had an effect on the timing as well as on the method of four of the suicides. The epidemic is viewed from individual, network, and organizational perspectives. The authors speculate on how such epidemics could be avoided. An increase in inpatient suicide rates has been reported from many countries, and the Werther effect may thus become a topic of considerable importance in psychiatric hospitals in the future.

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