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Suicide Prevention & Awareness: The Impact of New Year

TW – discusses suicide The new year comes with multiple connotations and has more of an impact on some individuals than you may first think. Especially this year, with the cost of living crisis having a significant effect on people’s mental health, the challenges that are being faced are bigger and could be even more detrimental.

If you are struggling and are looking for some support, call the Samaritans free, day or night, 365 days a year on 116 123. You can also:

Write to them at Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS

Email them at jo@samaritans.org

Use the Samaritans Self-Help app

In this article, we explore the reasons behind the impact of new year on mental health and how you can help those in need during this time.

The Impact of New Year on Suicide Rates

According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, the suicide risk is 40% higher on New Year’s Day compared to the rest of the year. In this study, the researchers analysed date on 73,591 general population and 19,318 patient suicide deaths in England between 1997 and 2012.

The team examined suicide rates in relation to month of the year, day of the week, and days of national or religious significance, such as the festive season. The early part of the year was associated with a higher risk of suicide than the later part of the year. For the general population, the lowest suicide rate was on Christmas Day while the highest was on New Year’s Day.

Why Are Suicide Rates Higher in the New Year?

The new year is known as a time of reflection; looking back on a tough year and looking forward to what could be a similar year can be quite painful and daunting. Being surrounded by positivity and celebration can highlight problems even further and make individuals feel more alone during this time too.  

As well as a time of reflection, it is also seen as a time of transition. Similar to the start of a new week – which also sees a slight increase in suicide rate – transitioning from one period of time to another is another reason.

New starts and new beginnings can make individuals feel their most vulnerable along with disappointment. The “broken promise effect” is a term coined by psychologists which refers to the disappointment experienced after something individuals have looked forward to fails to live up to expectations.

Also, Christmas can be considered as a time rich in social and family support where individuals feel a stronger connection to those around them; this may result in the postponement of planned suicide. However, when New Year’s Day comes around and after excessive alcohol consumption commonly related to this occasion, the depressant alongside loosening of inhibitions can lead to planned actions.

How to Help with Suicide Prevention

At Training for Life, we provide a Suicide Prevention Course led by instructors under the Suicide First Aid accreditation. Does suicide prevention work? As one of the most preventable deaths, Suicide First Aid Training and Suicide Prevention Training is based on factual evidence and helps you understand the process of suicide intervention to ultimately prevent suicide.

Our Suicide Prevention Course also includes Suicide Awareness Training where you can gain knowledge about suicide prevention, mental health and self-harm. According to Office for National Statistics, in 2021, there were 5,583 suicides registered in England and Wales, equivalent to a rate of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

Suicide prevention is essential all year round, but particularly in the new year. Book your place on an upcoming Suicide Prevention Course or browse our other available courses today.