Wednesday, July 11, 2007



Myth: Suicide is extremely rare.

Fact: Suicide happens much more often than most people are aware. For every 2 homicides there are three suicides, and yet with the media coverage for homicide, you'd expect the reverse to be true. In many areas there are more deaths from suicide than there are to motor vehicle crashes. Tremendous amounts of money are put toward road care, safe driver enforcement, and vehicle safety, and yet very little is dedicated to suicide awareness, prevention and intervention.

Myth: Asking about suicide might put the idea into someone's head.

Fact: Bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do because it relieves the suicidal person of the incredible sense of isolation they experience and relays that someone has insight to their pain and cares about their well-being.

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

Fact: Almost all people who eventually die by suicide have given some clue or warning. When suicidal threats are not taken seriously, the person may conclude that no one cares.

Myth: If a person is determined to kill themselves, nothing is going to stop them.

Fact: Most suicidal people are ambivalent, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. For example, people in a suicidal crisis frequently call for help immediately following a suicide attempt. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever. Suicide is preventable.

Myth: People just snap and take their lives without warning.

Fact: There are almost always warning signs, but others are often unaware of their significance or do not know what to do.

Myth: People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.

Fact: Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help within six months before their deaths.

References: NAMI, Yellow Ribbon

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