Myths and Facts about Suicide

Myth: Most suicides occur with little or no warning.

Fact: Most people who complete suicide threaten first.

Myth: You shouldn't talk about suicide with someone who may be at risk because you could give them the idea.

Fact: Talking  allows the person feeling suicidal to express openly the pain they are feeling. This is often the first step to getting help. Talking will not encourage them to kill themselves but rather usually relieves some of their anxiety.

Myth: People who talk about suicide don't actually do it.

Fact: As most people who complete suicide threaten first, taking every suicide threat seriously is the safest thing to do to keep that person alive and safe.

Myth: A suicidal person clearly wants to die.

Fact: Most people who feel suicidal want to live, but are in so much pain they can't see another way out besides suicide.

Myth: Once people attempt suicide, they will never do it again.

Fact: Prior attempts put individuals at higher risk for suicide.

Myth: If a person has been depressed and suddenly seems to feel better, the danger of suicide is gone.

Fact: As with any difficult decision, the decisions surrounding suicide are extremely stressful. Making a choice either to live or to die can at least provide some relief from that stress. It's important to talk to someone who suddenly feels better, as they could actually be at higher risk.

Myth: Most suicides are caused by one particular traumatic event.

Fact: Most suicides are caused in part by many stressful or painful situations that add up until the person can no longer see a way out.

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