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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2019 Apr;49(2):529-534. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12450. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

How Many People Are Exposed to Suicide? Not Six.

Author information

1
College of Social Work, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
2
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
3
School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.
4
Kentucky Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
5
Department of Psychology, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, USA.

Abstract

It has long been stated that six people are left behind following every suicide. Despite a lack of empirical evidence, this has been extensively cited for over 30 years. Using data from a random-digit dial survey, a more accurate number of people exposed to each suicide is calculated. A sample of 1,736 adults included 812 lifetime suicide-exposed respondents who reported age and number of exposures. Each suicide resulted in 135 people exposed (knew the person). Each suicide affects a large circle of people, who may be in need of clinician services or support following exposure.

PMID:
29512876
DOI:
10.1111/sltb.12450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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