Suicide Myths

Suicide can be a scary topic and there can be some misinformation out there. It might be helpful to have a look at our myths and facts if you had questions and were not sure of the answers.

Myth 

Fact 

People who are suicidal want to die. 

 

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. It will get better, kindness, support and time will help. 

 

Asking someone if they are suicidal or talking about suicide will make someone more likely to attempt suicide or give them ideas.  

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.   

Suicidal people are weak.   

There are many reasons why someone may be having suicidal thoughts. Admitting that you are suicidal is not a sign of weakness but strength as you’re making steps to recovery and you can make a recovery. If you are struggling, you are so brave and have so much going for you but we know it can be hard to be kind to yourself but you are not weak. 

Most suicides happen in the winter months.   

Whilst suicides do occur in the winter, suicide is complex and is not just related to the seasons, so be aware that someone could be feeling suicidal at any time of the year. We know that for students there are some very stressful points in the year so it might help to be mindful of these times.  

People who talk about suicide will not go through with it.   

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 always important.  

Suicides only happen to people of a certain financial status, age, gender, race etc. 

Suicide can strike anyone. Suicide can impact anyone. There are some groups where we see higher figures such as men and members of the LGBTQ+ community.  It can feel difficult to talk about your feelings but it really helps.  

If someone is set on killing themselves there’s nothing you can do to help.   

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.  

If you don’t have a pre-existing mental illness and seem happy, you’ll never be affected by suicidal thoughts and feelings.   

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. 

Most suicides happen without warning.   

Verbal and behavioural warning signs often occur before most suicides. It is not always possible to recognise these warning signs, but if you are concerned about a change of behaviour or gut feeling, it is ok to ask the person or pass on your concern to support services.   

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