Climate–Suicide Relationships: A Research Problem in Need of Geographic Methods and Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives



Many locations on Earth experience peaks in suicide rates during the late spring and early summer, and there is evidence that climatic variables may be causal factors. Beyond this seasonal characteristic, there is little consistency in the results of various climate–suicide studies. Almost all of the published climate–suicide research has been conducted by mental health experts with relatively little input from geographers and/or climatologists, thus highlighting the need for future collaborative efforts. Previous research has shown how the use of a single statistical method, as opposed to multiple methods, can yield misleading or confusing results. Future research on climate–suicide relationships should allow for more consideration for spatial and temporal variations in climate, culture, demographics, etc. Ultimately, improved methods and the use of cross-disciplinary methods will help arrive at consistent results that identify climate variables that significantly affect suicide rates, if any exist.