Tykes & Teens Inc. is Leading The Way In Suicide Prevention in South Florida and the Treasure Coast

Jeffrey Shearer, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer, Tykes & Teens, Inc.

Suicide in contagious, but prevention is powerful.

As the epidemic of death by suicide worsens nationally, there is an excellent approach for preventing suicides, especially among youth, written by Jeffrey Shearer MSW LCSW, Chief Executive Officer of Tykes and Teens in Martin County, Florida. Mr. Shearer is a well recognized leader in children’s mental health. He is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and The Academy of Certified Social Workers and has 25 years experience in children’s mental health and advocacy. For more information please visit our website. http://www.tykesandteens.org The article is reprinted here:

Suicide is Contagious, But Prevention is Powerful

While listening to a Linkin Park song on the radio recently, I felt compelled to listen closely to the words sung by Chester Bennington, who died by suicide in July.

If anyone wonders whether he was crying out for help, these lyrics leave little question:

“Who cares if one more light goes out?

In a sky of a million stars

It flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We’re quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?”

It is well known that Bennington was close friends with another celebrity musician, Chris Cornell, who died by suicide on May 18th. Bennington chose Cornell’s birthday to take his own life, which leads to the question-Is suicide contagious? While it’s a complicated question, the answer is yes.

There is a great deal of research to support a Contagion Effect with suicide. A recent study about military suicides published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Psychiatry journal concluded “that within Army units, the risk of suicide attempts among soldiers increases as the number of suicide attempts made within the past year in their unit rises. The greater the number of previous suicide attempts in a unit, the greater the individual risk of a suicide attempt for a soldier in that unit.”

Additional studies have found that suicide rates also increase following frequent media reports about suicide. The rate increases even more when dramatic or graphic details are…

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