Photo credit: Shutterstock Images
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. During this month, there is a focus on educating the public on a topic that is considered taboo despite its prevalence. According to the American Association of Suicidality, suicide ranks as the tenth cause of death in the United States. The truth is suicide affects everyone.
There is still so much that isn’t understood about suicide. To aid in the understanding of this important mental health topic, we will dispel some myths about suicide:
- Suicide is selfish. In the past, it was encouraged to ask the person who is considering suicide to think about those they would leave behind and their feelings. This unfortunately does not explore the real feelings of the person considering suicide. Rather, this approach is guilting them into “staying alive”. It is important to practice empathy, creating an environment of support. Seeking assistance with developing empathy to feel more comfortable with these conversations is recommended.
- Asking if someone is suicidal will make them suicidal. Asking someone if they are suicidal will not put the idea in their heads. In fact, asking someone about their suicidal ideation or plans opens a line of communication. This allows the person a chance to talk about their thoughts and feelings and gives you a chance to direct them to resources such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- Depressed people are always suicidal. Someone diagnosed with depression may consider dying by suicide. However, the diagnosis is not the lone determinant in understanding who is more likely to die by suicide. The most important thing to look for is the warning signs of suicide. Understanding these behaviors will help you know what to look for and allow you the chance to ask your loved one if they are suicidal. For more information on the warning signs of suicide, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.
- Suicide is a cry for attention. A person that has thoughts about harming themselves is not looking to manipulate their loved ones. Rather the person often is needing acceptance and support.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal ideations/considering dying by suicide, help is available. Please click the links above for more information or contact us today to learn more about how we at Focused Solutions can help you navigate these challenges together.