North Central College in the News

North Central College psychology professor quoted in Newsweek

Mar 31, 2023

Leila Azarbad addressed a mental health myth regarding suicides

Many people believe that suicide rates are at their highest during the winter months, specifically around Christmas, when many people struggle with loneliness, strains on their finances, and exacerbated family issues.

The truth in fact, is that the bulk of research consistently shows that the spring/summer months result in the highest number of suicides, a pattern that has remained consistent for many years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the highest number of suicides in the U.S. in 2021 occurred in August. In fact, one study found that cardiac mortality is at its highest around Christmas and New Year’s than any other time of the year, making it far more of a risk factor than suicide at that time of year.

Dr. Leila Azarbad, professor of psychology at North Central College, was quoted in Newsweek, where she talked the Holiday Suicide Myth.

"The Holiday Suicide Myth is indeed a myth," said Azarbad. "In fact, suicide rates drop during the winter months and rise in the spring. November and December tend to have the lowest suicide rates, whereas April, May and June tend to have the highest rates."

Click here to read the full story in Newsweek.