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How to Stop “Suicide Contagion” From Making Another Tyler Clementi Happen

Suicides like Tyler Clementi (and Zach Harrington, and Brandon Bitner, and Seth Walsh, and Lance Lundsten, and Veronica Baxter) don’t just happen spontaneously. Whether it’s bullying, depression, the media, or a mix of a dozen different factors, there’s a whole big wide world of contributing causes to every tragedy. And sometimes, one incident can trigger another … and another … and so on.

So how do we stop those dominoes from falling? The key is putting an end to “suicide contagion.” And a new factsheet from a coalition of LGBT organization offers tips for doing just that.

Among the highlights: don’t say “successful suicide,” remind people about all the resources available to people contemplating suicide, and don’t act like suicide is an inescapable consequence of bullying.

These tips are designed mostly for the media, but it’s also a handy lesson for your conversations on Facebook and Twitter and Myspace and Compuserve. Go read the whole thing.

(And PS: next time you ask what groups like the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD have done for us lately, well, here’s one answer.)