Suicides drop during holidays

Report refutes notion that holidays accompanied by spike in suicide rates

National suicide data has debunked the myth that suicide rates reach their peak during the holiday season.

Researchers from the The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania analyzed monthly suicide data from January 1999 through December 2010, finding the opposite is true—November, December and January almost always have the lowest suicide rates of the year, according to During the 2010 holiday season, for example, an average of 100 Americans took their lives each day; during the spring and summer months of 2010, an average of 110 Americans killed themselves per day—about 300 more people per month.

The researchers attributed the fallacy’s widespread acceptance to newspaper coverage. In fact, the report’s authors noted that, of all U.S. newspapers’ stories mentioning both suicide and the holidays during the 2012-13 holiday season, 71 percent perpetuated the myth.