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Common Misconceptions

Misconceptions about suicide often perpetuate stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. Dispelling these myths helps break down barriers and encourages open conversations about mental health, making it easier for individuals to seek help without fear of judgment. 

MYTH: Suicide is a selfish act.
FACT: Many people believe that those who die by suicide are selfish because they leave behind grieving loved ones. In reality, suicide is often a result of overwhelming emotional pain, and individuals who die by suicide may not be in a state of mind to consider the impact on others.

MYTH: Suicide can’t be prevented.
FACT: Suicide is preventable, and interventions can be effective. It’s essential to provide support and resources to those in crisis and to seek professional help when needed.

MYTH: Talking about suicide may encourage the idea.
FACT: Some people fear that discussing suicide openly will give someone the idea or permission to act on it. However, open and empathetic communication about suicide can actually be a crucial first step in helping someone who is struggling.

MYTH: Suicidal people just want attention.
FACT: This is a harmful stereotype that dismisses the pain and struggles of individuals who are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Most people who contemplate suicide are dealing with genuine emotional pain and suffering.

MYTH: Suicide is a rational option for really bad situations.
FACT: Suicide is often the result of distorted thinking, extreme emotional pain, and a sense of hopelessness. It is not a rational decision, but rather, a desperate response to overwhelming circumstances.

MYTH: It’s impossible to know if someone is contemplating suicide.
FACT: Many individuals who contemplate suicide may appear fine on the surface; however, they often do or say something that indicates they are struggling. Pay attention to the warning signs of suicide. Reach out to people who may be struggling, even if they seem outwardly okay.

In a crisis? Call or text 988.

SAVE does not provide emergency or crisis intervention. If you are located in the United States, call 911 for medical emergencies. Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

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