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Permanent Link: Why the holiday suicide myth persists

Posted Dec 01 2009 12:00am

My friend Tom mentioned to me that I should write about the link between suicide rate and the holiday season. So, I started to look up some information on this link, and it turns out that this is all a myth. The Annenberg Public Policy Center had a press release a few years ago about this myth (It includes charts and graphs!).

But many people still assume that there is a connection between holidays and suicide. So, why does this myth persist? USAtoday.com’s Kim Painter addressed this question the other day .It seems that some are looking at the increased stress level and more prevalence of seasonal affective disorder and just assuming that the  suicide rates would go up. Just because it’s a myth doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned, though.  The holiday suicide myth may detract attention from the real needs of people who might consider suicide at any time of year, says Paula Clayton of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

(This post is third in a series of posts about suicide. Thanks to Tom for the idea.)

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