While it's not true that suicide is contagious, if someone close to your teen has committed suicide, it's time to monitor your teen's state of mind. That's because there's sure to be a misguided perception that suicide rates are surging.
Although it may feel that way to your teen, he or she needs to know the facts: Even if a trio of teens at the local high school have killed themselves, it doesn't translate into a sharp uptick in the nation's suicide rate as a whole. The truth is, suicides that occur in geographic clusters aren't well understood. Experts suggest media coverage, or the drama surrounding memorials for successfully suicidal teens, may be the primary commonality when one death follows another. The simple fact that your teenager was exposed to suicide is a risk factor, and could leave him or her feeling vulnerable.
Without some fact-based information, your teen may begin to feel that suicide is now a "normal" part of growing up -- and a very real option if he or she is in a funk or confronted with a traumatic situation.