The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports that the suicide rate is, in fact, the lowest in December. The rate peaks in the spring and the fall. This pattern has not changed in recent years. The holiday suicide myth supports misinformation about suicide that might ultimately hamper prevention efforts.

Shorter days, crowded malls, the need to please and months of diet-busting food… Taken together, winter and the holiday season can be tough to navigate. Dr. Howard Burley from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services discusses seasonal stress, anxiety and depression.

Did you know that in Tennessee, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24, and the ninth leading cause of death among ALL Tennesseans? Learn the warning signs: Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness; withdrawal from friends and family; loss of interest in activities; changes in eating and sleeping habits; and thoughts or talk about death or suicide. And then take action: ASK and show concern, LISTEN without judgement, and TELL someone. Get professional help or call a crisis hotline. Reaching out can save a life.

Taking steps to prevent falls; identifying suicidal tendencies in friends or loved ones; healthy aging; and infant mortality. September brings health observances for each of these four important issues that are the focus of our show. Terry Love with the Tennessee Department of Health, Samantha Nadler of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, Jim Shulman of the Tennessee Department on Aging and Disability, and D’Yuanna Allen-Robb of the Metro Health Department join Kristin on this episode of Community Health Matters.