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Previous research finds that…

Studies also show a spike in death rates around Christmas.  However, while there is a greater chance of dying on Christmas day, the day after Christmas or New Year's Day than any other single day of the year, contrary to popular belief, rates of suicide do not increase at Christmas time.  Higher death rates at Christmas are associated with disease and natural causes, with research suggesting that the higher death rates may be due to stress and loneliness exacerbating existing conditions and people being slower to seek medical treatment in the holiday period (Annenberg Public Policy Center, 2010).

While preparing for Christmas may be stressful in itself, factors commonly associated with poor mental health at other times of the year are also more prevalent in the Christmas period.  These include relationship breakdown, workplace stress, and financial pressures (Hawton, 1997; NMHC, 2013).

In December 2014, Relationships Australia asked visitors to our website to participate in a two‑minute survey that asked them about their experience of stress at Christmas time.  Respondents were asked to report on a five-point scale (not at all, slightly, moderately, quite a bit, extremely) how much a selection of factors commonly associated with Christmas stress impacted on their family relationships.

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