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San Francisco Suicide Prevention 2011-08-03 17:02:00

Annenberg Public Policy Center
Many newspapers continue to perpetuate the myth that suicides increase during the holiday season, according to an analysis by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC). The APPC study found that during last year’s holiday season (2009-2010), nearly half of news articles that made a direct connection between suicide and the holiday season supported the myth. The proportion of articles that reinforce the myth has decreased since the APPC began running its yearly analysis in 2000, but progress has slowed during recent years. “It is unfortunate that the holiday-suicide myth persists in the press,” said APPC researcher Dan Romer. “Aside from misinforming the public, this sort of reporting misses an opportunity to shed light on the more likely causes of suicide.” U.S. government statistics show that the suicide rate is lowest in December, and peaks in spring and fall.