Talking about suicides doesn’t increase suicides (Wired UK)

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The commonly held belief that talking about suicide increases
suicidal tendencies is false, according to research from King’s

In psychology, there is a widespread
 that enquiring about suicidality will cause
distress to subjects. This perception means that it’s often
difficult to conduct research on suicide, as ethics boards fear
that studies may harm their participants.

However, a newly published paper in Psychological Medicine refutes this
belief. Tomasso Dazzi wanted to establish whether there was any
evidence that talking about suicide induces increased suicidal

“We conducted a review of the published literature examining
whether enquiring about suicide induces suicidal ideation in adults
and adolescents, and general and at-risk populations,” reads the
paper. “None found a statistically significant increase in suicidal
ideation among participants asked about suicidal thoughts.”

In fact, quite the opposite was true. “Our findings suggest
acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce, rather
than increase suicidal ideation, and may lead to improvements in
mental health in treatment-seeking populations.”

As such, Dazzi and his fellow researchers recommend that ethical
concerns about asking about suicidality could be relaxed so that
more research can be done into the subject.

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