Becoming aware of suicide can increase an individual’s threat of suicide. However there are methods for the media to reduce that through accountable reporting


The dad of a Sandy Hook shooting victim was discovered dead today in Newtown, Conn., in an obvious suicide.


Jeremy Richman was 49 years of ages. He and his better half, Jennifer Hensel, produced The Avielle Structure. They called it after their child who passed away at Sandy Hook.

CORNISH: In 2013, Richman informed NPR they began the structure to investigate the possible roots of violent habits in the brain.


JEREMY RICHMAN: All over that we entered the start, individuals were all like, I can’t envision what you’re going through; I can’t envision. However they are picturing it. That’s the horror that they’re feeling when they state those words. And we require to envision it ’cause otherwise we can’t drive modification, development, concepts.

CORNISH: This news comes soon after 2 trainees who endured in 2015’s shooting in Parkland, Fla., likewise passed away – one by suicide, one obviously by suicide. Now, 2 obvious suicides in about a week, one verified, in 2 neighborhoods impacted by school shootings might seem like more than simply a coincidence. Therefore to speak about this, we rely on NPR health reporter Rhitu Chatterjee. She covers psychological health. And I asked her whether this certifies as a suicide contagion.

RHITU CHATTERJEE, BYLINE: Professionals I talked with stated we will most likely never ever understand. However one specialist stated that the 2nd in Parkland was rather most likely affected by the very first one which occurred recently due to the fact that teenagers and youths in specific are susceptible to that contagion impact.

CORNISH: So is this genuine as a phenomenon?

CHATTERJEE: Yes. Research studies have actually revealed that understanding or becoming aware of or checking out another person’s suicide – it might be somebody in your life, somebody you do not understand – it can increase your own threat of suicide particularly if you’re currently feeling depressed, down and currently considering death. However it is essential to bear in mind that suicide is not brought on by something. It’s normally a mix of elements, sort of that ideal storm that presses someone to act upon their self-destructive thinking.

CORNISH: At the exact same time, we in the media – when we cover these scenarios, are we adding to the issue?

CHATTERJEE: The media’s protection of suicide contributes, however it’s not a lot simply covering it however how we speak about suicide. So for instance, if we report on a death by suicide by speaking about the methods that they utilized, that contributes or if we speak about suicide as inescapable, that someone who has self-destructive ideas there’s no chance to stop them due to the fact that suicide is avoidable.

CORNISH: So it is essential to speak about the problem. It is essential to speak about it being avoidable. How?

CHATTERJEE: You can get assistance. There’s assist there for individuals who are dealing with self-destructive ideas. For instance, there’s a nationwide suicide avoidance line – 1-800-273- TALK. There’s a number individuals can text by texting the word speak to the number 741-741 And it’s not simply somebody who’s sensation self-destructive who can access these customer service. If I understand someone that I’m anxious about who might be self-destructive, I can call these customer service for assistance. So there’s lots of methods to keep someone with self-destructive ideas from acting upon them.

CORNISH: I wish to return to the news of the day then. What about for individuals in neighborhoods like Parkland, like Newtown or other locations that have experienced mass shootings? What can individuals be doing?

CHATTERJEE: So neighborhoods that have actually experienced mass shootings are going to be handling injury and sorrow and things like PTSD for a long period of time. Therefore what individuals in these neighborhoods can do is actually keep an eye out for those who were possibly survivors of these shootings, who have family members who passed away in these shootings and action in and sign in on them. The important things that professionals inform me is it is essential to ask someone who is having a hard time, hi, are you OK? Are you thinking about damaging yourself – since that’s the concern that frequently individuals think twice to ask, however that can open a discussion and lead somebody in requirement getting assistance.

CORNISH: That’s Rhitu Chatterjee. Thank you a lot for your reporting.

CHATTERJEE: Thank you.

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