As we previously mentioned, this month is about suicide awareness. Unlike most parts of mental health disorders and behaviors, there is a lot of misinformation and ignorance about suicide that needs to be cleared up. We want to share myths and facts about suicide, some of which you may not have known.

  • Myth: Suicide is something that really only happens on TV or when someone wants to get attention. It’s not going to affect me.
    Fact: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Because of its prevalence, many are worried that it will become one of the most pervasive problems to hit the United States and is completely preventable.
  • Myth: Talking about suicide makes people want to kill themselves more or introduces the thought to the person.
    Fact: While glorifying suicide can increase risk and should never be condoned, talking about the risks and concerns of suicide actually normalize the fear and depressive symptoms associated with suicidal ideation and therefore reduce suicide rates.
  • Myth: Thinking about what if I wasn’t hear anymore is the step right before attempting to commit suicide.
    Fact: Suicide has several stages: “what if,” suicidal ideation, suicidal plan, suicidal intent, and access to items to commit suicide. It is at this time that a person will be hospitalized.
  • Myth: Suicide is something that only adults deal with.
    Fact: Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–14 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
  • Myth: Suicide is something that people impulsively do.
    Fact: More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition. This means warning signs were present and you can help support them and prevent it.
  • Myth: Suicide is really only that person’s loss.
    Fact: Suicide results in an estimated $51 billion in combined medical and work loss costs. This does not include the work loss of families who grieve, the mental health care that follows with it, and the additional problems that pile on.
  • Myth: This is really just women and their emotional issues.
    Fact: While women are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts. Males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 77.9% of all suicides.
  • Myth: Once a person thinks about committing suicide, there is nothing others can do to help or stop them except to drug them up or strap them down.talk
    Fact: Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.

Any myths we missed or facts you did not realize? Share in the comments below.

Published by Jeremy Smith

Jeremy is a Licensed Professional Counselor working with adults and youth. Jeremy has a history of working as a ministry director for Youth for Christ for 8 years and then working as a mental health and substance use adult counselor in Ohio, specifically running an Opioid Residential Treatment Center.

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