Suicide – Myths & Facts

Myth: People who talk about suicide won’t do it or are attention seeking.
Fact: Talking about suicide is a cry for help AND a warnings sign from a potentially suicidal person and should be listened to and acted upon.

Myth: Suicide occurs without warning.
Fact: Many people give warning signs of their suicidal intentions. Be alert.

Myth: Recent significant events will not cause a suicide.
Fact: Recent significant events may precipitate a suicide

Myth: Only certain types of people consider, attempt or complete suicide.
Fact: Anyone can have thoughts, feelings or actions that are suicidal.

Myth: Asking someone if they are feeling suicidal will put the idea into their head.
Fact: Asking about suicide directly, openly and sensitively allows the suicidal person to communicate. It will not put the idea in their head.

Myth: Once a person has decided to kill themselves, no one can stop them.
Fact: Suicide is a cry for help, not a wish to die, and it can be prevented.

Myth: A person who attempts suicide and does not complete it, will not try again.
Fact: For every 5 people who take their own lives, the majority have made one or more attempts.

Myth: The suicide crisis is over when depression lifts.
Fact: This is often a high risk time, as a person may find it easier to carry out an attempt as they begin to feel better.

Myth: Most suicides happen late at night.
Fact: Most suicides happen in the late afternoon or early morning.

Myth: People who abuse substances rarely complete suicide.
Fact: Those who abuse alcohol/drugs are at a higher risk of completing suicide.

(Adapted from Appleby M (1996). Suicide Awareness Manual, Rose Education, New South Wales)

*Be Alert *Ask *Assess *Take Action