There is a common belief that suicide occurs most often in the cold months, especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter holidays. This is actually a misconception, however, as suicide rates often increase during the spring and summer. Since 2002, Centerstone has recorded the number of suicide deaths occurring each month, and the summer months have routinely seen the most suicides, with July being highest.
While it is easy to see the data and observe that suicide rates increase in the summer, figuring out the cause is not simple. There are no definitive seasonal causes of suicidal ideation and action. However, there are some consistent causes seen across many studies.
The warm weather and increased sunshine could contribute to increased energy needed to act on suicidal thoughts for those who experience them. Megan Williams, Director of Suicide Prevention at Centerstone, says, “Warm weather also often means that people are more active and participating in more outdoor activities. This can cause those suffering from depression, anxiety and/or suicidal ideation to become more depressed seeing others enjoying themselves.” This, coupled with an increase in energy, could contribute to higher suicide deaths in spring and summer.
There are other aspects of summer, such as seasonal socioeconomic factors, seasonal allergies and more that can contribute to suicidal ideation and action.
Fortunately, there are ways you can help prevent suicide in others by being attentive and showing your support.
If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal ideation, Centerstone is here to help. Call us at 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123) or visit centerstone.org/connect-with-us/ to get connected with care.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
Suicide Prevention NSPM2020
Mental Health Suicide Prevention