Exposure to Suicide

Research based estimates suggest that for each death by suicide 147 people are exposed and 18 of them experience a major life disruption. This is around 6.3 million people annually. One suicide in a community can result in suicide “contagion” where other students in the same community attempt suicide following the initial death. Exposure to a peer’s suicide has been found to be associated with suicidal ideation or behavior in adolescents that can persist for up to 2 years. Approximately 1–5% of teen suicides occur in a cluster after a youth dies by suicide (Gould & Lake, 2013.) Schools and communities need to be prepared to intervene and support other students following a completed suicide.