Research Shows A Spike In Suicides In The Months Following Robin Williams’ Death


On August 11, 2014, beloved actor and comic Robin Williams dedicated suicide at his house in Paradise Cay, California. The 63-year-old had been secretly combating Lewy physique dementia — one thing his spouse believes was an enormous think about his choice to finish his life.

Information of the tragedy unfold like wildfire shortly after Williams died. Many headlines described how he’d hanged himself with a belt, later detailing his battle with despair. Sadly, as Mother Jones stories, Williams’ extremely publicized loss of life could be the purpose for an alarming rise in suicides within the following months.

In a brand new examine revealed within the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from Columbia College’s Mailman College of Public Well being noticed a 10 p.c enhance from “anticipated” suicides within the U.S. between August and December 2014.

Utilizing the Facilities for Illness Management’s mortality information from January 1999 to July 2014, the researchers used a pc mannequin to estimate the variety of anticipated suicides underneath typical circumstances. The projected quantity between August and December 2014 was 16,849 instances. The precise quantity turned out to be 18,690 instances.

David Fink, a PhD candidate at Columbia and lead creator on the examine, explains there was an abrupt spike in suicides after Williams’ deaths. The biggest enhance was in males and folks between the ages of 30 and 44, and suicide by suffocation elevated by about 30 p.c throughout that point interval.

“The idea is that you’ve got somebody that’s already considering [suicidal] behaviors, however they’re not able to taking that motion,” Fink advised Mother Jones. “However as soon as they see any individual else that they relate to that is ready to take that motion, it turns into possible in a means…That’s why it’s an analogous age group, an analogous intercourse, an analogous methodology.”

The examine authors have been cautious to notice they could not straight hyperlink Williams’ loss of life to the rise in suicides; nevertheless, historical past has proven us that suicide rates often go up following high-profile suicides.

(by way of Mother Jones)

The World Well being Group is actively working to cease such “copycat suicides” by issuing recommendations for reporting on suicide as to keep away from sensationalist protection. As at all times, should you or somebody you recognize is contemplating suicide, please name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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