Suicide: Myth vs. Fact

MYTH: All suicidal young people are depressed.

FACT: While depression is a contributory factor in most suicides, it need not be present for suicide to be attempted or completed.

MYTH: Talking about suicide or asking someone if they feel suicidal will encourage suicide attempts.

FACT: Talking about suicide provides the opportunity for communication. Fears that are shared are more likely to diminish. The first step in encouraging a suicidal person to live comes from talking about those feelings. That first step can be the simple inquiry about whether or not the person is intending to end their life. However, talking about suicide should be carefully managed.

MYTH: If a person attempts suicide and survives, they will never make a further attempt.

FACT: A suicide attempt is regarded as an indicator of further attempts. It is likely that the level of danger will increase with each further suicide attempt.

MYTH: Once a young person is suicidal, they will be suicidal forever.

FACT: Most young people who are considering suicide will only be that way for a limited period of their lives. Given proper assistance and support, they will probably recover and continue to lead meaningful and happy lives unhindered by suicidal concerns.

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