Suicide rates take toll in all seasons

Suicide Prevention Sign

Contrary to popular belief, suicide rates actually increase in the dew of spring, stay high in the summer and gradually slow from November to January.

While there is no single reason that contributes to the higher rates of suicide, some believe that those who found themselves depressed in winter have the energy and motivation to take their lives in the spring. Also, the transition to spring can create feelings of hopelessness for those considering suicide as the change of seasons has not made them feel better.

Educating yourself about the warning signs of suicide is integral to reducing them in our community . Keep an eye out for these signs:

  • Talking about being hopeless, wanting to die, being in pain, having no purpose or being a burden to others
  • Increased substance use
  • Withdrawal from loved ones
  • Increased or decreased sleep

Here are three other things you can do to help prevent suicide:

Be direct with your loved ones. Ask the question: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” It gets easier with practice to ask the question. Your job is to listen, hold space, and validate. You can remind them when it’s appropriate that they matter, they aren’t alone and tomorrow needs them.

Take 5 to Save Lives is a campaign that encourages everyone to take five minutes out of their day to complete five action items by World Suicide Prevention Day in September. Take 5 to Save Lives teaches you to learn the signs, know the different ways to help, and practice self-care. Learn more at

Get involved. Suicide prevention is about creating a community people can see a future in. Join Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition's monthly meetings on the fourth Thursday of every month from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

Learn more at Suicide is preventable, and by educating ourselves and sitting with those we love who are struggling, we can save lives and be a light this spring and every day. If you need support or resources, Johnson County Mental Health Center is here for you 24/7 by calling 913-268-0156.