Myths about suicide

Myth: People who talk about suicide never go through with it.

Fact: 80% of people who die by suicide have talked about it. They will often have shared their feelings with friends, family, counsellors or their doctor.

Myth: Only clinically depressed people attempt suicide.

Fact: Suicidal thoughts often follow a serious life event – such as the breakdown of a relationship, losing a job or the death of a loved one. This type of thinking can affect anyone, even if they have no history of depression or other mental health issues.

Myth: Suicide is attention-seeking.

Fact: Someone who attempts suicide needs to be taken seriously and treated with compassion. Without support and professional help, there’s an increased risk of someone trying to take their own life again.

Myth: Talking about suicide encourages it.

Fact: Talking about suicide can save a life by encouraging someone to seek help. Remember APR – ask, persuade and refer. Ask the person if they feel suicidal, persuade them to allow you to get help for them, and refer them to a service such as Pieta House where they can get professional help.

Myth: Suicide cannot be prevented.

Fact: Most people who are suicidal don’t really want to die. They just want the pain to stop. Most suicides are preventable. If your friend or family member talks about wanting to die by suicide or having suicidal thoughts, persuade them to get help from compassionate professionals like us at Pieta House.