Did You Know?
Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year
Its time we STOP THE SILENCE and start talking about this in the dark issue. It’s time that people know that it’s ok to talk.
I am writing this article to shatter some of the common myths about suicide. I want you all to know that suicide should not be a taboo subject in this country. In order to save lives we have to start the conversation. We have to let people know that we have all most likely been touched by suicide in one way or another.
I believe that once we start the conversation, more people will be able to talk openly about depression and suicidal thoughts. When this happens, we can begin to save lives.
Myth: Suicide can’t be prevented. If someone is set on taking their own life, there is nothing that can be done to stop them.
Fact: Suicide is preventable. The vast majority of people contemplating suicide don’t really want to die. They are seeking an end to intense mental and/or physical pain. Most have a mental illness. Interventions can save lives.
Myth: People who take their own life are selfish, cowards, weak or are just looking for “attention”.
Fact: More than 90% of people who take their own life have at least one and often more than one treatable mental illness such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and/or alcohol and substance abuse. With better recognition and treatment many suicides can be prevented.
Myth: Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide will put the idea in their head and cause them to act on it.
Fact: When you fear someone you know is in crisis or depressed, asking them if they are thinking about suicide can actually help. By giving a person an opportunity to open up and share their troubles you can help alleviate their pain and find solutions.
Myth:Barriers on bridges, safe firearm storage and other actions to reduce access to lethal methods of suicide don’t work. People will just find another way.
Fact: Limiting access to lethal methods of suicide is one of the best strategies for suicide prevention. Many suicides can be impulsive and triggered by an immediate crisis. Separating someone in crisis from a lethal method, i.e. a firearm, can give them something they desperately need – time. Time to change their mind, time to resolve the crisis, time for someone to intervene.
Myth: Someone making suicidal threats won’t really do it, they are just looking for attention.
Fact: Those who talk about suicide or express thoughts about wanting to die, are at risk for suicide and need your attention. Most people who die by suicide give some indication or warning. Take all threats of suicide seriously. Even if you think they are just “crying for help” – a cry for help, is a cry for help – so help, don’t ignore.
Myth: Talk therapy don’t work.
Fact: Treatment can work. One of the best ways to prevent suicide is by getting treatment depression, bipolar illness and/or substance abuse and learning ways to solve problems. Finding the best treatment can take some time, and the right treatment can greatly reduce risk of suicide.
I lost my sister to suicide when she was 14 years old. I wish she would have felt like she could talk to me or someone about how she was feeling. I hope that by telling my story and by starting the conversation about suicide and telling people that it is ok to talk about it without feeling alienated or weird… I can help save lives before it’s too late. I hope that I can save someone from going through what me and my family went through.
If you or someone you know is in an emotional crisis For immediate help or support call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Together we can make a difference.
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