Media coverage of celebrity suicide caused by depression and increase in the number of people who seek depression treatment

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Abstract

We examined how media coverage of a celebrity who died by suicide due to depression was associated with the change in the number of people who visited a psychiatrist for depression. For this, of all news articles published in South Korea between 2010 and 2017, we identified all cases in which a celebrity died by suicide due to depression. Further, from the Korean health big data system, we collected monthly data on the number of people who visited a psychiatrist for depression. Regression analyses showed that, when there was media coverage of celebrity suicide due to depression in a particular month, more people visited a psychiatrist for depression—not in the same month but in the following month. We also found that, when there was media coverage of celebrity suicide due to depression, more news articles provided information about depression treatment or prevention. But, the increase in the number of such news articles did not play mediating roles between the media coverage of celebrity suicide, of which depression was known to be the main cause, and the increase in the number of visits to a psychiatrist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-603
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume271
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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