“Hotspots” and “copycats”: a plea for more thoughtful language about suicide
The Lancet Psychiatry
The meta-analysis by Jane Pirkis and colleagues presents a useful contribution to knowledge about the effectiveness of interventions to prevent suicides in public places. I take issue not with the content of their work, but with its language. They use the term “hotspot(s)” no fewer than 30 times in their paper. For some years, this term has served to denote specific public sites that are frequently associated with acts of suicide, usually by jumping. Beloved of the media, its continued, uncritical use in scientific literature is concerning.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 3 (1), pp. 19-20