Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2017 - 24

I
WHEN SUICIDE IS

CONTAGIOUS

Exposure to suicidal behavior increases
the risk for children and adolescents
to attempt suicide. This can lead to
suicide clusters, a rare and infrequently
documented phenomena.
By Robert Carroll, MBA, M.H.A., and Michael Shapiro, M.D.

24

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL S TODAY Spring 2017

n a single year, University of
Florida Health (UF Health) Shands
Psychiatric Hospital, which
contains a 14-bed unit for patients ages
9 to 17, experienced two suicide clusters.
The first cluster occurred at "School A,"
located in a neighboring county with
a population of less than 1,500 people.
This public school of seventh through
12th graders experienced three student
suicides in the span of six weeks. In
the month after the suicides, Shands
Psychiatric Hospital admitted eight
students; all were acquaintances of one
of the suicide victims or reported being
affected by the deaths. Although there
were allegations of a suicide pact-the
agreement between multiple individuals to commit suicide-there was insufficient evidence to support this.
A year later, a second suicide cluster
occurred at a public school with 2,000



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2017

Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2017 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2017 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2017 - 2
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Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2017 - Cover3
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