Date: February 08, 2018
“Widespread media coverage may have contributed to a 10% increase in suicides following Robin Williams’ highly publicized death, according to a new study.
In the four months after Williams’ death by suicide in August 2014, CDC data revealed that there were 18,690 deaths by suicide in the U.S. — significantly more than the 16,849 suicides that past data and trends would have predicted for that time period, according to an analysis published Wednesday in PLOS ONE.
Fink says a common theory is that many cases share three precursors: a breakdown in the person’s social structure, access to a means of suicide and an ability to overcome a natural fear of death. A high-profile celebrity suicide may partially fulfill the third element, Fink says.
“When you see somebody that you can relate to that has overcome this natural fear of death, you might be able to relate to that and take the same behaviors you were incapable of prior,” he says.”