There was 10% increase in suicides following the death of actor Robin Williams in 2014, according to a study published Wednesday.
Media coverage and copycat suicides possibly contributed to the spike, which saw an increase of 1,841 cases from August to December of that year, the report in the Public Library of Science says.
Researchers expected 16,849 suicides in that time but observed there were 18,690 instead. Persons aged 30 to 44 had the most significant increase in suicides.
Although we cannot determine with certainty that these deaths are attributable to the death of Robin Williams, we found both a rapid increase in suicides in August 2014, the study says.
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Williams, 63, was found dead in his California home on Aug. 11, 2014. His cause of death was asphyxiation due to hanging.
When reporting about suicide, the researchers suggested avoiding explicit descriptions, especially in headlines.
The World Health Organization issued guidelines on tackling the subject.