In 2014 and 2015, social media erupted with people demanding that Valentine's Day be replaced by a "Second Halloween." Seriously, just Google "Second Halloween Meme" and you head down a really weird rabbit hole. I didn't make any of those.
I thought the idea had some merit, so we did some digging and found that there is a serious reason to want to have a fun party this time of year.
Contrary to popular opinion and some mainstream reporting, suicide rates are not highest in the winter, and are actually lowest during the Christmas and Holiday season, reaching their peak in the spring and early summer according to numerous studies dating from the late 1800s to the present day, including one published in 1995 in the journal Social Science & Medicine and a similar one in 1997 in the journal Psychiatry Research showing that the trend holds in the southern hemisphere as well, with suicides highest in the spring months of September and October in South Africa. The reasons for these trends are elusive, with theories ranging from weather trends to health issues to social factors. Whatever the causes, now is a perfect time to raise awareness of the problem before the worst of the depression in the spring.
Now one theory is that there's this emotional roller coaster that starts with Halloween, which is big and exciting; from there moves up to Thanksgiving, when your family reminds you that you matter and are loved; from there up to Christmas when EVERYONE reminds you that you matter and are loved; tops off with New Year's Day when you say, "Yeah! I'm going to conquer the world!" Then comes down when you realize that half your resolutions are not coming true, and then comes Valentine's Day.
Now I have nothing against Valentine's Day. I think it can be a lot of fun; but I'm also in a good relationship. Valentine's Day is great fun for a lot of people... who are also in good relationships.
If you're not, and you're coping with problems in your personal life, Valentine's Day can seem... kind of heartless.
Now much of what contributes to the seasonal up-and-down, I can't do anything about. What I can do, is offer another big distracting party to tide you over until the winter lets up.
The real point of this event is a big, silly party - and the fact that some of us Buttants don't get enough Halloween just from the Fall. However, we are trying to address a serious issue in our own silly way.
The event raises money for suicide prevention, and we will have Reverends Jim and Mary Alice Jones of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Anaconda – both with a long history of outreach regarding suicide awareness and prevention with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Montana Chapter on hand to talk to anyone who wants to talk, or wants information for someone else.