Suicide clusters in young people

Georgina R. Cox, Jo Robinson, Michelle Williamson, Anne Lockley, Yee Tak Derek Cheung, Jane Pirkis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Suicide clusters have commonly been documented in adolescents and young people. Aims: The current review conducts a literature search in order to identify and evaluate postvention strategies that have been employed in response to suicide clusters in young people. Methods: Online databases, gray literature, and Google were searched for relevant articles relating to postvention interventions following a suicide cluster in young people. Results: Few studies have formally documented response strategies to a suicide cluster in young people, and at present only one has been longitudinally evaluated. However, a number of strategies show promise, including: developing a community response plan; educational/psychological debriefings; providing both individual and group counseling to affected peers; screening high risk individuals; responsible media reporting of suicide clusters; and promotion of health recovery within the community to prevent further suicides. Conclusions: There is a gap in formal evidence-based guidelines detailing appropriate postvention response strategies to suicide clusters in young people. The low-frequency nature of suicide clusters means that long-term systematic evaluation of response strategies is problematic. However, some broader suicide prevention strategies could help to inform future suicide cluster postvention responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Postvention response
  • Suicide clusters
  • Young people

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