Holiday suicides


For years, common thinking was that suicide rates increased during the holidays.

But it turns out that’s not the case.

According to crisis response teams in Hamilton, incidents of suicide are actually lower in December.

“A lot of people are, generally speaking, involved with family get-togethers around Christmas,” said Deborah McGrath, manager of Hamilton’s Crisis Outreach and Support.

“Christmas is generally a fairly good future oriented thing for people.”

According to McGrath, they typically see more calls for help in spring and late fall.

GO Transit staff experience about 12 to 15 fatalities involving GO trains every year.

The majority of those are the result of suicide.

Their transit safety officers play an important role in difficult situation, said Metrolinx spokesperson Matt Llewellyn.

“We work with a company called ConnexOntario and we provide signs and if they’re in crisis they can call that number and we can reach out,”  he said.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, about 10 people die by suicide everyday.

First responders say it’s important to recognize the signs of someone in crisis.

That includes a change in routine, being more withdrawn or an increase in drug or alcohol use.


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