Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide.
Fact: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death; however, many people who kill themselves do suffer with their mental health, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not.
Myth: People who talk about suicide aren’t serious and won’t go through with it.
Fact: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. While it’s possible that someone might talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it’s vitally important to take anybody who talks about feeling suicidal seriously.
Myth: Once a person has made a serious suicide attempt, that person is unlikely to make another.
Fact: People who have tried to end their lives before are significantly more likely to eventually die by suicide than the rest of the population.
Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.
Fact: Often, feeling actively suicidal is temporary, even if someone has been feeling low, anxious or struggling to cope for a long period of time. This is why getting the right kind of support at the right time is so important.
Myth: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it.
Fact: Suicide can be a taboo topic in society. Often, people feeling suicidal don’t want to worry or burden anyone with how they feel and so they don’t discuss it. By asking directly about suicide you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it is to be able to talk about what they are experiencing. Once someone starts talking they’ve got a better chance of discovering other options to suicide.
Myth: Most suicides happen in the winter months.
Fact: Suicide is more common in the spring and summer months.
Myth: People who are suicidal want to die.
Fact: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. The distinction may seem small but is in fact very important and is why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.
Getting help - If you feel someone is in immediate danger suggest they contact
The Samaritans 24 hour helpline: 116 123 (Freephone)
Otherwise, encourage them to talk to their GP about local help that is available.
For local counselling services, the Counselling Directory lists individuals and organisations registered with the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) , including Options.
If you are concerned about someone or are feeling low and struggling with life Options has counsellors ready to help in Basingstoke, Portsmouth, Southampton, Banbury (Oxon) and Milton Keynes. Visit our website or call 023 8063 0219