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Suicide Myths

 

Myth: People who talk about suicide never attempt or complete suicide

 

People who talk about their suicidal thoughts may also attempt suicide.

 

Many people who complete suicide have told someone about their suicidal feelings in the weeks prior to their death.

 

Listening to and supporting people in these circumstances can save lives.

 

Myth: If somebody wants to end their life, they will, and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

 

Most people thinking about suicide do not want to die; they want to end the pain they are suffering.

 

Sometimes there are occasions when nobody could have predicted a death by suicide. However, in many cases help and support can make a difference and avert a tragic outcome.

 

Listening to and supporting people in these circumstances can save lives.

 

Myth: Talking about suicide or asking someone if they feel suicidal will encourage suicide attempts

 

Talking about suicide does not create or increase risk; it can help to reduce it.

 

The best way to find out if someone has thoughts of suicide is to ask them directly and be willing to discuss this with them. This can be a source of relief for them and can be key to preventing the immediate danger of suicide.

 

Please see the Contacts section for agencies that can help if additional support is needed.

 

Myth: Some people are always suicidal

 

Some groups are at increased risk of suicide. However, suicide can affect all ages, ethnicities, genders and cultures.

 

Many people can have thoughts of suicide at some point in their life while other people have thoughts of suicide on a regular basis.

 

There isn’t a ‘type’ for suicide.  Listening to and supporting people in these circumstances can save lives.

 

Myth: If a person has made previous attempts they won’t do it for real

 

Those who have attempted suicide once are at much greater risk of attempting again. They need to be taken seriously.

 

Listening to and supporting people in these circumstances can save lives.

 

Myth: When a person shows signs of feeling better, the danger is over

 

Often the risk of suicide can be greatest when the person appears to be improving. This may be because once they have made a decision to attempt suicide, the person may feel they have found a solution, however desperate it may be.

 

Listening to and supporting people in these circumstances can save lives.