The British Medical Journal has an article that I’ve spoken of numerous times lately (IRL), discussing how media coverage of suicides affects the rate of similar suicides.
There is clear evidence that the media may affect method specific suicide rates. In Britain an excess of about 60 suicides by burning occurred in the 12 months after the widely publicised political suicide by burning of a woman in Geneva.
It is argued that suicides occur only among those who are already suicidal and it is only the choice of method that is influenced by publicity. […] Although media attention may precipitate clusters of suicide, these occur only among those who would commit suicide sooner or later any way, the publicity merely acting as a precipitant to an inevitable event.