Suicides rise after Diana's death
- By: Raj Persaud
A rise in the suicide rate in England and Wales followed the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, three years ago, a new study shows. The University of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research found that the overall suicide rate in England and Wales rose by 17% in the four weeks after her funeral, compared with the average reported for that period in the four previous years (British Journal of Psychiatry 2000;177:469-72).
The number of people taking their lives in this period increased by 40, but the impact was greatest on women, particularly women closest in age to Diana herself, who died at 37. The rate of suicide in women increased some 34% in the month after Diana's death, and in women aged 25-44 the rate increased by over 45%. The researchers suggest an “identification” factor partly explains the findings-the kind of people who most identified with the princess were most