According to the American Association of Suicidology, each year, there are approximately 10 youth suicides for every 100,000 youth. Each day, there are approximately 12 youth suicides. Every 2 hours and 11 minutes, a person under the age of 25 completes suicide.
However, there is a particularly high risk in the community where the suicide has occurred that further suicides are more likely, a phenomenon sometimes called copycat suicide.
A person who has been contemplating suicide or planning suicide might be encouraged to take this last step, or find the memorials or publicly expressed mourning to seem as if it’s a glorification of the act. It might seem that the suicide that occurred was an act of bravery that the onlooker might want to emulate if they were already preoccupied this way.
For parents and educators though, a suicide in the community should be a call to compassion and thoughtful action. In the short term, hre is some advice.
Bruce Bienenstock, M.D.is a consulting psychiatrist for Adolescent Counseling Services. He participated in the Adolescent Counseling Services’ forum last night at the Cubberley Theatre, "Breaking the Stigma: Adolescent Depression."