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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2008 Sep;37(9):797-9.

The media and suicide.

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Department of Psychiatry, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.


Suicide is a common and preventable event that is often reported by the media when there are sensationalistic elements or if the suicide involves a celebrity. Media reports of suicide can induce a copycat or "Werther effect". There is increasing evidence that sensationalistic reporting of suicides has a direct effect on increasing suicide rates. Responsible reporting guidelines drawn up in consultation with media professionals have been shown to improve reporting of suicides. Local reporting on suicides tends to be sensationalistic but also has a strong educational slant. The media should educate both the public and the medical professional about their role in suicide prevention.

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