We often hear that suicide rates are highest during the holidays. I even heard a character in a Christmas TV movie warn about the risk during the last holiday season. Seems to make sense, in a way. After all, the holiday season even has its own syndrome – the holiday blues. Many people are stressed out, and for anyone who’s alone and depressed, the contrast between the ideal of the holidays and reality can be hard to take.
Here’s the problem – the prevailing wisdom is wrong. In fact, we’re not heading away from the most dangerous time of the year for suicide, we’re heading towards it. Suicide rates are actually at their highest during late spring and early summer, and at their lowest around the holidays. There does appear to be a jump on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, which is thought to be due to the holiday season ending and harsh reality settling in.