More than 700,000 people die by suicide each year, and for each person that dies, it’s estimated that 20 others attempt. It’s time we break the myths and misunderstandings around suicide to help everyone struggling find hope.
Myth: People who consider suicide will always find a way.
Many people who consider suicide are unsure about their decision. If you suspect a loved one is contemplating suicide, being proactive and getting them the professional help they need can strengthen their desire to live.
Myth: People die by suicide “out of the blue.”
There are many warning signs someone is at risk of dying by suicide. They include:
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Drug use
- Manic or aggressive actions
- Withdrawing from family, friends, and commitments
- Mood swings
- Impulsive behavior
- Emotionally distant
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Emotional pain manifesting physically (headaches, stomach aches, muscle soreness, etc.)
- Parting with beloved possessions
- Unwarranted emotional goodbyes with family and friends
If you notice these signs, it’s important to reach out to your loved one or to resources that can help them.
Myth: Someone who has it together isn’t at risk of suicide.
Someone can appear to have it all on the outside, but as we see so tragically in the news and in our own community, suicide can still be something they contemplate and attempt. If you notice the warning signs for suicide, even in someone you may think is okay, it’s worth reaching out and having an honest conversation. It may save their life.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HELLO to 741741. Both services are free and available 24/7, and all conversations are confidential.