Suicide contagious among teens

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LENEXA, Kan. -- New research shows what many have suspected -- suicide can be contagious among teens.

The study found teens who have a schoolmate die by suicide are significantly more likely to consider or attempt suicide even if they did not know the teen personally.  The effect lasted for several years.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa and Harvard University found the contagious effect was strongest among young teens.  About seven percent of them attempted suicide compared to two percent who hadn't had a schoolmate die by suicide.  The research has been published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

FOX 4 Medical Reporter Meryl Lin McKean spoke with Barb Nelson of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Kansas City Chapter.  The group wants to help schools and individuals with education and support to help prevent more tragedies.
Contact for more information about the chapter's activities.

FOX 4 has other resources with our You Matter campaign

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