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Are Statistics For Suicide Higher at Christmas?

The holiday season is usually seen as a time of great joy and merriment. Christmas, in particular, is when folks try to get together with family and friends in festive spirits. Based on this, amidst all-around celebration and optimism, something somber and tragic is often linked to Christmas – suicides.

Many people believe that Christmas is a time when the risk of suicide reaches its peak. The correlation drawn between suicides and the holiday season is decades old. But is there any grain of truth in all this?

The bio-hazard cleaning experts at Bio-One Savannah are highly sensitive to the immense tragedy of suicide and other forms of unnatural death. In a time of intense grief, we offer top professional and compassionate cleaning services to the family or property owners after a suicide has occurred.

In this blog post, we will explore the facts behind the holiday suicide claims – is it real or just a myth? Let’s start with some basic facts about suicide in the US:

Incidence of Suicides in the United States

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2021 alone, there were close to 48,180 deaths by suicide – over 130 people were found dead. Almost twice as many people are killed by suicide than homicides across the US.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. If we look at suicide attempts, there are only rough estimates. Considering the fact that not every attempt at self-inflicted harm results in a death or visit to the hospital ER, we may never know the true picture.

Nonetheless, reports and predictions from experts indicate that there are at least 1.2 million suicide attempts each year in the US. For every death by suicide, there are at least 25 unsuccessful attempts at taking own life. Each day across the country, a suicide attempt takes place once every 26 seconds on average.

Nationwide Historical Trends in Suicides

We have high-quality historical data about suicide attempts dating back at least to the 1950s. What we've seen over the decades paints a startling picture – after hitting a low in 2000, suicide rates have increased by as much as 30% in the last two decades.

Beginning with a high rate of 13.2 in the post-World War II era in 1950, the suicide rates saw a progressive decline to 10.4 per 100,000 people by the year 2000. Much of that positive change has been attributed to advances in mental health treatments and a steady improvement in economic conditions.

In relation to this, ever since the beginning of the 21st century, things have gone downhill in terms of cases of depression and suicide. By 2018, the suicide rates nationally had exceeded the 1950 levels to reach an all-time high of 14.2 per 100,000 population. There was a temporary dip in those figures during the early stages of the pandemic, reaching 13.48 in 2020.

Since then, the numbers have once again bounced back sharply, and suicide rates reached a new record of 16.1 suicides per 100,000 population. Suicide prevention has been rightfully termed as vital for public health and welfare.

Differences in Suicide Rates Among Various Groups

Suicide risk is not evenly distributed across the entire population. For instance, the rates are extremely low among young children below the age of 10. Moreover, based on demographic factors like race, gender, and age, suicide risks can vary to a great degree.

Men vs. Women

The difference in suicide rates here is quite staggering. Men are up to 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women in the United States. This gap has remained more or less constant since at least the 1950s.

Among men, the risk is higher as they age. The rate is around 28.3 between the ages 25-44 and 27.4 between 45-64. But the highest risk comes after the age of 75 for men – the suicide rate is a whopping 40.5 per 100,000 population.

Among women, the peak risk comes after the age of 45. The suicide rate for females is 7.2 between the ages 25-44, and it reaches a peak of 7.9 between ages 45-64. The risk falls off considerably after the age of 65 in women. In 2023, the age-adjusted suicide rate was 25 for men and 7.5 for women in the United States.

There are significant differences in the chosen suicide methods as well. Men prefer using a gun (57.9%), followed by suffocation (26.7%). Among women, the primary means of suicide are firearms (33%), suffocation (29%), and poisoning (28.6%).

Race and Ethnic Groups

In absolute numbers, the majority of suicides involve middle-aged white men. Going by percentage rate among the population, Native Americans had the highest rate of 37.4 per 100,000, followed by white males at 27 per 100,000.

African American, Asian, and Hispanic populations had the lowest rates of 12.9, 10.3, and 12.3, respectively, per 100,000. The rates for women are largely similar, with Native American and White populations showing higher rates of suicide than others.

Age Groups

The following are the broad rates per 100,000 for each age group, including both men and women at present:

  • For ages 10 – 14 the rate was 2.0 for women and 3.6 for men
  • For ages 15 – 24 the rate was 5.8 for women and 22.4 for men
  • For ages 25 – 44 the rate was 7.2 for women and 28.3 for men
  • For ages 45 – 64 the rate was 7.9 for women and 27.4 for men
  • For ages 65 – 74 the rate was 5.6 for women and 24.7 for men
  • For ages 75+ the rate was 3.9 for women and 40.5 for men

Teenagers tend to have lower suicide rates than adults, contrary to many news reports and popular perceptions. The rates are much higher for young adults and senior citizens. But the youth are nevertheless at risk of suicide attempts, with 8.9% reporting an attempt in 2019.

Suicide Across the World – How Does the US Compare?

According to WHO figures, the global death toll from suicide each year is around 700 million. It was also the fourth leading cause of death among adolescents/young adults between 15 and 29 years of age in 2019.

Over 77% of all suicides take place in lower-income countries, with pesticide ingestion a very popular option in countries where firearms are not readily available. The US does not rank among the top 25 nations in terms of age-adjusted suicide rates. Here are the top 5 nations:

  • Guyana - 44.2   
  • North Korea – 38.5
  • South Korea – 28.9
  • Sri Lanka – 28.8
  • Lithuania – 28.2

The actual reasons for suicide are quite varied and complex. Mental disorders, stress (particularly due to a sudden onset of crisis), depression, and alcohol abuse, are all major factors. Financial issues, relationship crises, loss of a partner, father, or mother, and chronic pain or illness are all common stressors.

Discriminated minorities, such as indigenous people and members of the LGBTQ community, are at higher risk of death by suicide. Natural disasters, conflicts, and forms of violence can also push people toward suicide attempts.

Suicide Trends in Georgia

Suicide rates are not evenly distributed across different states in the country. Alaska and the Western and Northwestern states have higher rates, particularly in the rural areas. California is a notable exception, with generally lower rates.

As for the state of Georgia, it sits 31st on the table of states with the highest incidence of suicides in the United States. The age-adjusted rate in the state is higher than in other states in the South.

Suicide also ranks as the second leading cause of death among youth in Georgia. Savannah falls under Chatham County in Region 5, which reported the highest rate of suicides among teens in 2019, according to official figures from Atlanta police.

If you have faced the trauma of suicide on your property or family home in Savannah, GA, Bio-One Savannah is prepared to offer you quick, reliable, and compassionate service. Our team of certified experts is equipped with high-tech resources. We are available 24/7 to handle the cleaning and disinfection of all contaminated surfaces in accordance with both state and federal laws.

Be it the cleanup of homes, vehicles, or commercial property, our specialists are trained to address all conditions. We are dedicated to handling your unique needs with utmost care and caution under the latest OSHA guidelines for maximum safety. To request our suicide cleanup services, give us a call at 912-755-1211, or use the contact us form here

Christmas and Suicide Numbers – Myth or Reality?

The supposed link between Christmas and suicides is a myth that is not backed by any factual observations or real-world data. The fact is that the rate of suicides does not increase during the holidays. Let us look at some of the reasons to debunk the myth of higher suicide rates during the Christmas and holiday seasons.

The Holidays Act as a Buffer

Contrary to popular belief, the holidays do not make people feel more miserable and increase the chance of a suicide attempt. In reality, the opposite is true – all the positivity and merriment act as a buffer against depression and suicidal thoughts in many individuals.

As long as they are not isolated and cooped up in their rooms, they can attend social events. partying and dancing during Christmas and other winter holidays keep people distracted from their suicidal impulses. Social gatherings provide excellent support against suicidality.

Suicides are More Common in Spring and Summer

Taking your own life is not an easy task. It takes a lot of energy (both mental and physical) to successfully carry out the act. This is why most suicides happen in the warmer months and not in winter.

In regions with cold and darker winters, the human body has less energy to spare. We end up more lethargic in order to conserve body heat. The same phenomenon is also responsible for significantly reducing the rate of suicides during the holiday season.

Suicidal Impulse is Often Driven by Internal Factors

The urge to end your life is a highly complex feeling which is usually driven by a wide range of psychological factors. Mental illness, depression, anxiety, and stress can all play a part. A unique set of factors drives each individual.

While it may sound convenient to attribute many suicides to a single universal cause, that would be a gross oversimplification of things. Sure, people do end up feeling suicidal around this time – but it is often rooted in very negative personal experiences from the past, not just a general aversion to the holiday season.

But in other instances, it can also be inspired by external stimuli – when a person sees news of suicides involving an actress or other celebrities, it can trigger impulses that lead to “copycat suicides.” This is a reason why we have journalistic rules and standards when covering suicides in the media - for the sake of suicide prevention.

The Origins of the Christmas Suicides Myth

Nobody knows for sure when the myth of high suicide rates at Christmas first started. Some experts attribute at least part of the blame to movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where the lead character contemplates suicide during the holidays.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is commonly cited as another reason to back the claim. A form of depression triggered by changes in the season can happen at any time of the year, not just during winter. The condition is also linked to bipolar disorder, which also increases the risk of suicide.

Journalists and news media have also played a key role in at least perpetuating the myth, if not actually creating it. Despite the availability of data that debunks the claim, many journalists fail to do due diligence before publishing articles on the trend.

What is the “January Rebound”?

While we can say with confidence that Christmas suicides are indeed a myth, there is another aspect to it worth considering. Christmas and social interaction can act as a buffer against suicidal urges during December.

But once we pass the holiday season and enter January, those same suppressed urges and depressive traits can often come back with a vengeance. Over the decades, researchers have noticed a decline in suicides in December, followed by an uptick in rates during January, a phenomenon called the “January rebound.”

Help First, Business Second – The Bio-One Savannah Approach

Suicides can be incredibly traumatic situations, whether it happens in your family or if it involves a complete stranger found inside your vehicle or on your property. Depending on the method used, a suicide can leave significant biological contamination in and around the surroundings.

Suicide scene clean-up is not something anyone can or should do as a DIY project. For community health and safety reasons, there are strict laws at both the state and federal levels on the handling and disposal of human remains and bio-waste.

If you are based in Savannah, GA, or nearby areas, you can rely on Bio-One Savannah for fast, compassionate, and discreet cleanup services. Our industry-leading experts are fully certified, trained, and experienced in handling and disposing of biological contaminants resulting from suicide.

If you wish to request Savannah suicide cleanup services at any time of the day, Bio-One is here to help you round the clock on all days of the week. Give us a call at 912-755-1211, or book an appointment online today using this link.



If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: dial 711, then 1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.


Girl Upset - Suicide Prevention Resources

According to the American Psychiatric Association, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death (after accidents) for people aged 10 to 34. And according the CDC, published reports from 2020 suggest that the pandemic has had a negative effect on children’s mental health. 

“Beginning in April 2020, the proportion of children’s mental health–related ED visits among all pediatric ED visits increased and remained elevated through October. Compared with 2019, the proportion of mental health–related visits for children aged 5–11 and 12–17 years increased approximately 24%. and 31%, respectively.”

Researchers have yet to link recent suicides to the pandemic since 2020 suicide data is not yet available. But on the ground, there's growing concern.

The February 2021 NPR article “Child Psychiatrists Warn That The Pandemic May Be Driving Up Kids' Suicide Risk” explores possible correlation. Takeaways include:

  • NPR spoke with providers at hospitals in seven states across the country, and all of them reported a similar trend: More suicidal children are coming to their hospitals — in worse mental states.
  • The number of kids with suicide attempts coming to the emergency room at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, in California, in the fall of 2020 was double the number in the fall of 2019.
  • At Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, the number of children and teens hospitalized after suicide attempts went up from 67 in 2019 to 108 in 2020. And October 2020 saw a 250% increase in these numbers over the previous October.

For ways to help kids at risk, NPR encourages readers to read Part 2 of their story, “Make Space, Listen, Offer Hope: How To Help A Child At Risk Of Suicide”.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Survivors of Suicide – What to Do Next

The loss of a loved one by suicide can be a deeply painful and traumatizing experience; however, it’s important to know that everyone experiences suicide loss in their own way. As you begin the process of healing, consider reading the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s guide for to talk to others about what happened and identify ways to take care of yourself

Additionally, if you have lost someone to suicide, there may be a cleanup required. There is no need for family or friends of the loved one to be further traumatized or overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to clean the impacted area. Bio-One is here for you. Learn more about Bio-One’s suicide remediation services. 


If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (en español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: dial 711, then 1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.


Suicide effects people of all ages and doesn't always mean someone is mentally ill. 

Look for warning signs. People who consider suicide as an option often talk about feeling hopeless or lost. Sometimes they try to organize their life as if they are creating a will by giving others their belongings or saying goodbye. They can experience strong self-hatred and be withdrawn from social interactions.

If you know someone displaying more than one of these signs, take the time to help. Sit down and talk to them about what's going on. Advocate for professional help if needed. 

National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)


If you know of someone in need of our services, please take a look at our locations to find the nearest Bio-One office near you. Stay safe!

Although you can't always tell if someone is suicidal, there maybe some signs you can learn to recognize especially if you notice more than one.

Warning Signs

  • They talk about feeling stuck or trapped
  • They think they are a burden to people around them
  • They speak of unbearable pain
  • They start withdrawing from social interactions
  • They aren't taking care of themselves
  • They may have more aggression or impatience
  • They may also become more apathetic
  • They start using more unhealthy substances such as drugs and alcohol

If you or someone you know display one or more of these warning signs, take the time to talk and evaluate. It's worth it.  If it's an emergency, call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

When a suicide occurs, it affects more than just the family. While the family is feeling it the most, a suicide can actually trickle out to the entire community. 

Friends and loved ones are hit hard. Co-workers, caregivers and teachers can be in the next level of those affected. Some people may not have had the same amount of interaction, but these people may feel a sadness or loss that is stronger than we might expect. The truth is, when someone is lost through suicide, it creates a wave that has a far and powerful reach among the community. 

You may not always be able to know who is suicidal, but you can be kind and know that everyone is fighting battles you can't see. 

If you or someone you know might need a support group, please find the link below that best suits your needs.

Save - Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Alliance of Hope - for suicide loss survivors

AAS - for suicide loss survivors

If you find yourself looking at a crime scene, your initial reaction may be to clean it yourself. You may want it to be gone as soon as possible and that's completely understandable. Here's some reasons why you shouldn't do that. 

1. Fluids! Coming into contact with bodily fluids, especially blood, can be harmful. It can carry disease and pathogens that you just don't want on or near your body!

2. Invisible to the eye! If you don't take care of all of it, you can still recieve harmful effects. This means if you try and clean it and leave behind any traces of the scene (even germs and pathogens you can't see), your home won't be as sanitary as you think it is. You know how they say won't you don't know won't hurt you? Well in this case, it can. 

3. Don't stress! While you may be worried that you can't afford crime scene cleaners, your insurance will usually take care of it! Don't let this detail keep you from getting the professionals in the door!

Never try to clean a crime scene yourself! You'll be happier, more sanitary, and less stressed when you let the professionals come take care of it. View our Bio-One locations if you need help. 

Many people think suicide rates increase during the winter holidays. This still happens, however, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports that the suicide rate is, in fact, the lowest in December. The rate peaks in the spring and the fall. While there are varying factors for why this happens, what we need to focus on is keeping in contact with our loved ones and those around us. If someone is acting in an unusal manner, check in with them. See if there is something going on that you might be able to help with. A lot of times people struggle with self love or self help and they just need someone to show they care. 

If you are feeling depressed yourself, start making note of what's going on emotionally. Write down how you feel that day and what is causing your mood to change up or down. Keep track of changes in feelings and thought patterns. Perhaps you're lashing out at people more or feeling unusually overwhelmed and you can't figure out why. If these things continue to happen, talk to a friend or specialist. There may be an underlying issue that you can work out easily or that might need more support. There is always a way to fix it, you're not alone. 

If you feel the need, contact the National Suicide Prevention Line 24/7

1-800-273-8255


If you know of someone in need of our services, please take a look at our locations to find the nearest Bio-One office near you. Stay safe!

Request a service from your local Bio-One team.

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