(LiveScience) For years, public health officials and mental health experts have warned journalists against reporting on suicides in great detail, and romanticizing the stories of people who took their own lives, out of fear that such stories could trigger vulnerable readers to commit suicide themselves.

Now, one of the most comprehensive studies yet shows how influential news reports can be. In analyzing 48 cases of suicide clusters, researchers found that groups of suicides are more likely to be preceded by news reports on suicide than individual suicides.

“Our findings indicate that the more sensational the coverage of the suicides, and the more details the story provides, then the more likely there are to be more suicides,” study researcher Dr. Madelyn Gould of the New York State Psychiatric Institute said in a statement.

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