Celebrity suicide ups risk six-fold

Celebrity suicide can increase the risk of suicidal ideation in the public almost six-fold, research from Hong Kong has shown.

The study focuses on the aftermath of the suicide of Hong Kong pop star Leslie Chung, who jumped from a building to his death on 1 April 2003.

Between December 2003 and July 2004, a population-based survey of 2,016 adults aged 20-59 was carried out. Participants were asked about their suicidal ideation, psychological wellbeing, life events and whether or not they had been affected by celebrity suicide.

This showed that 43 per cent of women and 32 per cent of men admitted to being affected by celebrity suicide.

Having anxiety symptoms and more reinforcement of irrational values were found to bolster the impact of celebrity suicide.

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