Myth busters


Myth: most suicides happen in the winter months

Fact: Suicide is more common in the spring and summer months


Myth: You have to be mentally ill to think about suicide

Fact: Most people have thoughts 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 take their own lives do suffer with their mental health, typically to a serious degree. Sometimes it’s known about before the person’s death and sometimes not. Approximately two thirds of people who die by suicide have not been in contact with mental health services.


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: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it out.

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 suicide 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: People who threaten suicide are just attention seeking and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Fact: People who threaten suicide should always be taken seriously. It may well be that they want attention in the sense of calling out for help, and giving them this attention may save their life.


Myth: If a person is serious about killing themselves, then there is nothing you can do.

Fact: Often, feeling suicidal is temporary, even if someone is 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.