VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – “Hard time of year for a lot of folks.”
You may have seen those words scroll across your social media feeds more than once this holiday season, along with a number for the National Suicide Prevention Line.
Hard time of year for a lot of folks. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. A simple copy and paste might save someone's life.
Would 3 Twitter friends please copy this text and post under their own name?
— Ben Ennis (@SportsnetBen) December 22, 2019
While the message is a positive step in getting people help, it actually comes at a time of year when suicide deaths typically drop. No matter where you are in the world, the statistics show a similar pattern — suicide rates drop in November and December.
Stacy Ashton with the Crisis Centre of B.C. notes calls to suicide prevention lines typically spike in times of transition, like late spring or early fall.
“You can still have high levels of distress around Christmas, but there are more people available and off work and have time to talk,” Ashton explains. “So you might be able to rely on your family networks more and less on a crisis line, just for example.”
However, Ashton says that doesn’t necessarily mean those at risk for suicide aren’t in distress during the busy holiday season.
“Sometimes the most at-risk time for suicide can be when depression is starting to lift, but you still feel horrible because you can become more active then. You actually can do things that you thought about,” she says. “I think it’s good to acknowledge that people can be in distress during times when everybody else seems to be really happy. I think that’s the message that the … the information is trying to get out.”
Props to @SportsnetBen for starting this: Hard time of year for a lot of folks. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. A simple copy and paste might save someone's life.
— Satiar Shah (@SatiarShah) December 22, 2019
She adds there’s no bad time to let someone know that there are people available to talk to any hour of the day, 365 days a year.
If you need help or just someone to talk to, you can call B.C.’s line at 1-800-SUICIDE any time. The national line is 1-833-456-4566.