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Spring is a wonderful time of year


The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the sun is out longer, and school is almost out.

Spring is great for a lot of reasons, but many young people struggle during this season. 

Suicide rates are highest in the spring, which is why we are launching our #BeeStrong campaign. We want to take the month of May to raise awareness of the facts and provide support that can counteract some of the stressors that contribute to increased suicide rates this time of year. Everyone has the capacity to be strong and resilient, but sometimes that strength is hard to find within ourselves.

Follow us through May 31st for information, skills, and tips. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to use our hashtag #BeeStrong in response to our posts, so keep a lookout!

Don't let the season bring you down. You can Bee Strong! 

So much sun, so why so glum?

There are many theories for why suicide rates increase in the spring. While there is no simple answer to why suicide rates climb in spring, there are many ideas - supported by data - as to what contributes to these crises in our youth during this particular season.

Monthly rates of suicide based upon all cases of suicide from 1970 to 2001 in the Danish Cause of Death Registry. History of mood disorder was obtained from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register. A history of mood disorders increased the risk of suicide in spring. (Woo, Okusaga, & Postolach, 2012)

Exam Stress

May is final exam season, and we understand how stressful this time of year can be. Exam stress is one of the reasons for why suicide rates are higher this time of year, so we want to make sure that you have tools that can help you succeed in your test taking endeavors.

Check out some of our favorite videos that can help you BEEat exam stress!  

 
 
 

Some other contributors to increased suicide rates in the spring include:

  • More sunlight means more energy. Most of the time, energy is a good thing, but this seasonal increase in vibrancy can be used for self-harming behaviors (Williams, 2002).
  • Body-shame blues: The warmer weather of spring usually means more time by the pool, on the lake or at the beach, which can cause some insecurity for those who aren't as confident as others while wearing a bathing suit.
  • Feeling excluded: Other youth are posting pictures and statuses on social media that show everyone how much fun they are having (Williams, 2002).
  • During the winter, many people tend to stay at home. That changes during the spring, where people are expected to go out and interact with others. Increased social interactions create more opportunities for rejection and disappointment (Beresin & Schlozman, 2006)
  • Allergies from pollen can increase inflammation, which in turn can increase symptoms of anxiety for persons with anxiety-based disorders (Postolache, Komarow, & Tonelli, 2008)

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Even though suicides are more prominent in the spring, we at SCYSPI want you to know that there are also many positives about this time of year.

Spring is about new life, and we want you to embrace this burst of sun and color as a time for renewed hope in your lives. Spring should be about embracing the opportunity to care for ourselves and strengthen our hope for the future.

If you are having thoughts about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) for a free anonymous call. It is never shameful to ask for help!

Most importantly, and perhaps THE take-home message; No matter what the season, be wary of issues pertaining to suicide. Self-harm is a significant public health threat throughout the year. If you’re worried, ask the person you’re worried about. You won’t regret it, and you might just save a life.
— (Beresin & Schlozman, 2016)

Want to design a hashtag to raise awareness? Check out some of these awesome designs from members of our youth advisory board!

Do you want to design a hashtag for our #BeeStrong campaign? If so, please contact Brandon Parker at Brandon.Parker@scdmh.org and send him a picture of the design. Write your name on it so we can give you credit for the design! Bee creative!!!

You can also post it on our Facebook wall or tweet it at us. We'll then post it on our website and across all of our social media platforms, including Facebook (@scyspi), Twitter (@scyspi), or Instagram (@scyspidmh). 


References

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2018). Risk Factors and Warning Signs. Retrieved from
https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/

Beresin, G, & Schlozman, S. (2016). Spring Suicide: An (Un)Likely Combination? Retrieved from
https://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-                                    concerns/teenagers/spring-suicide-an-unlikely-combination/

Exam Stress (2018). In kidshelpline. Retrieved from  
https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/exam-stress

Exam Stress (n.d.). In University of St. Andrews: Advice and Support. Retrieved from https://www.standrews.ac.uk/students/advice/personal/managingexamstress/

Postolache, T. T., Komarow, H., & Tonelli, L. H. (2008). Allergy: a risk factor for suicide [Abstract]? Current Treatment Options in Neurology, 10 (5),363-376. Retrieved from
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18782509

Williams, A. (2002). Season and Suicide. Journal of the National Medical Association, 94 (5), 283-284. Retrieved from
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594336/

Woo, J. M., Okusaga, O., & Postolach, T. T. (2012). Seasonality of Suicidal Behavior. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9 (2), 531-547. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9020531