Suicide Myth and Attitudes

Suicide can be a taboo topic in society.  These myths of suicide stand in the way of providing assistance for those who are in danger. By removing the myths, those responsible for the care and education of young people will be more able to recognise those who are at risk and provide the help that is needed.  Discover the facts behind the myths. Understanding the facts about suicide will help you identify the signs if someone close to you is finding it hard to cope.  The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. 

So lets talk about myth or fact.

Suicide Myth - Asking and talking about suicide with a suicidal person increases the risk of suicide.

Suicide Fact - There is no research evidence that indicates talking to people about suicide or increases their risk of suicidal ideation or suicidal behaviours. Speaking openly about suicide to someone who can help and support them will likely reduce the risk of suicide rather than give them the idea to try it.


Suicide Myth - Once people decide to die by suicide, there is nothing you can do to stop them.

Suicide Fact - Suicide can be prevented. Most people who are suicidal do not want to die; they just want to stop their pain.


Suicide Myth - Only experts can prevent suicide.

Suicide Fact - Those who are closest to people are often the first to see the warning signs


Suicide Myth - People who talk about suicide are just trying to get attention.

Suicide Fact - People who die by suicide usually talk about it first. They are in pain and often times reach out for help because they do not know what to do and have lost hope. Always take talk about suicide seriously.


Suicide Myth - Suicide always occurs without any warning signs.

Suicide Fact - There are almost always warning signs.


Suicide Myth - Young people who talk about suicide never attempt or complete suicide.

Suicide Fact - Talking about suicide can be a plea for help and it can be a late sign in the progression towards a suicide attempt. Those who are most at risk will show other signs apart from talking about suicide. If you have concerns about a young person who talks about suicide click here to see a list of helplines and support groups that you can contact. If you think this is an emergency – if you feel you or someone else is at risk of harm:

  • phone 111 now OR
  • go to your nearest hospital emergency department OR
  • phone your local mental health crisis team, contact numbers can be found here at this link or phone Healthline 0800 611 116.


Suicide MythSuicide is painless.

Suicide Fact - Many suicide methods vary.  Fictional portrayal of suicide do not usually include the reality of pain.

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