An epidemic of suicide attempts by burning in a psychiatric hospital

Z. Zemishlany, A. Weinberger, M. Ben-Bassat, H. Mell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three patients attempted suicide by burning in one ward of a psychiatric hospital in a period of less than 1 month. No such attempts had occurred there in the previous 9 years. The three patients were schizophrenics with depressive features who occupied the same room in the ward. It seems reasonable to suggest that at least the choice of method and the timing of these suicide attempts were influenced by imitation. Hospital staff should be especially aware of the influence of imitation in suicide in order to avert such undesired epidemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-706
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberMAY.
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


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