Comment on study into suicide exposure and outcomes in young people

The Canadian Medical Association Journal today released a study looking at the association between exposure to suicide and suicidality outcomes in children aged 12–17 years. The findings support school-wide or community-wide interventions in the aftermath of a suicide.

Joe FernsJoe Ferns, Executive Director of Policy, Research and Development at Samaritans, said:
“This is a compelling piece of research that highlights the vital need to work with the entire school community following the suicide of a pupil and we agree there’s a high risk of “imitational” behaviour among young people. 
“While there’s always a need for more research, we’re pleased to see further validation of the concepts upon which our work, within schools, is based. Over the past five years, Samaritans has developed Step by Step, a service to support entire school communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from completed or attempted suicides.
“In addition to our service for schools, Samaritans works closely with the media to ensure that reports of suicides, especially of young people, are handled responsibly, to reduce the risk of “imitational” deaths.
“The suggestion that “postvention” strategies should cover a larger community of students, rather than being targeted at smaller groups, is crucial. This is at the heart of Samaritans’ own work in reducing the risk of further suicides.”

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