Today I was saddened to learn of the tragic death of DJ Stephen “Twitch” Boss, best known for being the DJ on the hit talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. So far, early reports indicate that he was found in a hotel room with a self inflicted gun shot wound which caused his life to end. The first thing that comes to mind is that suicides increase during the holiday season, often fueled by loneliness. I was surprised when I learned that this is a myth.
According to usnews.com, “We have consistently found that the winter months of November, December and January are the lowest, or close to lowest, every year, and there is no evidence of a surge in suicides during the end-of-year holidays,” said Dan Romer, research director for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
According to the USMC.org website, Dr. April Foreman, a suicidologist and executive committee member of the American Association of Suicidology states that the holiday season acts as a buffer of sorts to suicidal thoughts. All the events and social gatherings that happen during the season may bolster protective factors like the feeling of belonging that comes with being a part of a family or close group of friends or coworkers.
While this is great to learn, suicide is still very real and problem that plagues our society. Research has discovered that the suicide rate has increased since 2021, amounting to 14 out of 100,000 Americans. Experts are encouraging people to be able to recognize the potential warning suicides of suicide and getting comfortable with having the conversation about suicide with family, friends and loved ones. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, contact the 988 Lifeline NOW at:
Call or Text – 988
At MDHHS, we are a public health prevention program that does not offer crisis intervention or mental health services. If you need help now, call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, or call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline immediately.
Please be kind to yourself and to others! Be safe during the holidays and the entire year of 2023.
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