Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.
Fact: Most suicidal people do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. This is an important distinction as it shows that they can make step towards improving their life with the right support at the right time.
Myth: Asking someone if they are suicidal or talking about suicide will make someone more likely to attempt suicide or give them ideas.
Fact: Suicide is often regarded as a taboo topic and therefore people who are feeling suicidal don’t want to worry others by discussing it. By asking someone if they are feeling suicidal directly, you give them permission to talk about their feelings. This is a big relief for someone suffering. Once a person starts talking, they have a better chance at exploring their issues and discovering options that aren’t suicide.
Myth: Suicidal people are weak.
Many people who are suicidal are battling a mental illness which takes a lot of strength to admit to and cope with. Admitting that you are suicidal is not a sign of weakness but strength as you’re making steps to recovery.
Myth: Most suicides happen in the winter months.
Facts: Whilst suicides do occur in the winter, suicide is complex and is not just related to the seasons. Suicide is actually more common in the Spring and on New Year’s Day, so be aware that someone could be feeling suicidal at any time of the year.
Myth: People who talk about suicide will not go through with it.
Fact: When someone speaks about feeling suicidal it is always important to take them seriously as getting them the help and support, they need may save their life. Sometimes when someone says that they are suicidal they are calling out for help and therefore listening to them is important.
Myth: Suicides only happen to people of a certain financial status, age, gender, race etc
Fact: Suicide can strike anyone
Myth: If someone is set on killing themselves there’s nothing you can do to help.
Fact: It is important to remember that feeling actively suicidal is temporary even if people feel like they have been suffering for a long period of time. Therefore, helping a suicidal person get the right support is crucial for their recovery.
Myth: If you don’t have a pre-existing mental illness and seem happy, you’ll never be affected by suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Fact: 1 in 5 people have thought about suicide at some point in their life, furthermore not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time they die.
Myth: Most suicides happen without warning.
Fact: Verbal and behavioural warning signs often occur before most suicides. Suicidal individuals may only show warning signs to those that are closest to them. It is important to remember that many loved ones may not recognise these warning signs which can make a suicide seem sudden. It is therefore important to understand the warning signs so suicide can be prevented.