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Suicide rate increases show darker side of Valentine’s day

Staff Reporter

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 02:02

Morgan Mears | The Houstonian

Morgan Mears | The Houstonian

Hearts, chocolates and flowers oh my! Valentine’s Day has arrived.

From sending flowers and chocolates to a significant other to handing out small cards to friends and family, love is in the air. However, with the focus primarily on love and spending the holiday with a valentine, those who are single or having relationship problems are often left out of the festivities and left feeling lonely.

Sadly, suicide rates and suicidal thoughts seem to increase during spring, especially around Valentine’s day.

"The myth is that Christmas is the most high risk time for people to become suicidal, but actually it’s springtime," Diane Brice, director of Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast (SPSCC), said in an article, "Nationally, that’s the time with the highest rate of suicide."

With a red heart around every corner, love and having someone to call your valentine are the main focus of the holiday.

People look around and see couples in love and people celebrating love and feel left out; Valentine’s Day reminds them about how they don’t have that significant other to spend the day with. Many are left feeling jilted on this love filled holiday, and many contemplate suicide.

According to a story on, President and CEO of Behavior Health Response, Lesley Levin, explains that the phone staff at BHR expects "up to 600 crisis calls, compared to an ordinary day of about 400 calls."

Valentine’s Day tends to put a lot of emphasis on being with a significant other or being partnered up and for many of the people who spend the day alone versus with a valentine, they are left feeling sad and isolated. According to, isolation is one of the most dangerous triggers for potentially suicidal persons.

From the huge heart shaped boxes of chocolate to the paper cut out hearts people put too much emphasis on this day, it’s just a regular Thursday that has been given the title Valentine’s Day.

Instead of placing so much emphasis on finding a valentine people should focus on loving themselves first. Be your own valentine, love yourself. Don’t fret about not having a significant other on this one single day of the year; chances are you aren’t the only person spending the day alone. Do something for yourself, do something you love. If you love pizza and horror movies, stay in and have a movie night. Remember to love, focus, and treat yourself right on Valentine’s Day. Have a personal date night. Do something that will make you happy.

Do not think that you need someone to be happy; you and you alone create your happiness. Don’t spend time fretting over not having a valentine. Instead, learn to love yourself.

Suicide prevention groups are open during the holiday and encourage people who notice any slight feeling of depression or who have suicidal tendencies to call them. The suicide prevention hotline number is: 1-800-273-8255.

Suicide is not the answer, ever.

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