RICHLAND, Wash.-- The holidays are supposed to be a happy time spent with family and friends. But for some people, they can be a difficult period of loneliness and misery.
But these mixed emotions don't really lead to an increased number of suicides during the season.
There's a common myth that the number of suicides and crisis calls rise during the holidays. The Center for Disease Control says the suicide rate is actually at it's lowest in December.
Police are often first responders to crisis calls about suicide concerns or attempts.
"People have the misperception that it's an automatic increase during the holidays of people going into crisis and it really if you take a ten year average at least for our police reports, don't seem to bare that our statistically," said Captain Mike Cobb, Richland Police Department.
Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb says the seasons changing and holiday reminders don't translate into a rise in suicides.
"Crisis calls during the winter months, November, December, January, are basically averaged about the same as June, July, and August."
On a national level, the CDC says the suicide rate peaks in the spring and fall.
For people that are concerned about someone having trouble during the holidays, The Benton-Franklin Health District says expressing concern for someone and asking them to talk about it can help.
Some of the signs to look for include people talking about feelings of hopelessness, isolating themselves, or turning to drugs and alcohol.
"If you see those signs. The first thing you need to do is show you care. Talk about your feelings and ask about how they're doing a really listen to them," said Sandy Owen, Benton-Franklin Health District.
Even if we've debunked the myth that suicide rates rise at the end of the year, it's still a major health issue. It's the 10th leading cause of death for all Americans.
Friday, May 24 2013 9:32 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:32:22 GMT
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