Experts: Idea that suicides spike in December is a myth

TULSA, Okla. — As we get into the holiday season, there’s been a long held belief that more suicides occur this time of year. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that is a myth.

According to the CDC, the myth really took off in 2009, when nearly 50 percent of articles written talked about the spike in suicides in the month of December.

FOX23 talked to Jonathan Kratz, a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma, about the myth. Kratz said it’s actually the opposite.

“A lot of people have this sense that it gets worse during the holidays, but the reality is there is no month that the death rate is lower than the month of December,” Kratz explained. “So deaths by suicide are actually less common than they are around the rest of the year.”

Kratz said that they’ve found that family gatherings can serve as a way to help with some people’s depression during the holidays. Sadly, Kratz said suicide rates typically spike in January.

Oklahoma does have a mental health helpline. You can call 988 or 1 (800)-273-TALK.