Suicide Rates and the Holidays
Over the past few weeks I’ve heard time and time again about the supposed increase in suicides around the holidays. After a bit of research, I learned that the increase is only partially true. A 10 year study by the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that national suicide rates actually decrease on all major holidays with the exception of New Year’s Day. One theory to explain that increase is that New Year’s Day actually symbolizes the end of the holiday season for many and the return to work and “everyday” life.
If you become concerned about a friend or family member and suspect that they may be considering harming themselves, ask them about it. Better to risk a few awkward moments than a lifetime of regret. After asking, make it a point to listen without judgment. Offer reassurance that you are there and that you care. If you continue to be concerned, stay with them and contact a professional. Most communities offer some type of crisis hotline that will connect you trained personnel who can assess risk and coordinate resources. The same resources can be accessed by calling 911.