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Myths & Facts about Suicide

There are many misconceptions about suicide and prevention. Below are a few things you may not know.

Myth: People who talk about suicide are just trying to get attention.
Fact: People who die by suicide usually talk about it first. They are in pain and oftentimes reach out for help because they do not know what to do and have lost hope. Always take talk about suicide seriously. Always.

Myth: People who talk about wanting to die by suicide do not try to kill themselves.
Fact: People who talk about wanting to die by suicide oftentimes kill themselves.

Myth: Suicide always occurs without any warning signs.
Fact: There are almost always warning signs.

Myth: Once people decide to die by suicide, there is nothing you can do to stop them.
Fact: Suicide can be prevented. Most people who are suicidal do not want to die; they just want to stop their pain.

Myth: Suicide only strikes people of a certain gender, race, financial status, age, etc.
Fact: Suicide can strike anyone.

Myth: People who attempt suicide and survive will not attempt suicide again.
Fact: People who attempt suicide and survive will oftentimes make additional attempts.

Myth: People who talk about suicide are trying to manipulate others.
Fact: No. People who talk about suicide are in pain and need help. And telling them that they "just want something" or "are trying to manipulate" is both insensitive and ignorant. People often talk about suicide before dying by suicide. Always take talk about suicide seriously. Always.

Myth: People who are suicidal definitely want to die.
Fact: The vast majority of people who are suicidal do not want to die. They are in pain, and they want to stop the pain.

Myth: You should never ask people who are suicidal person if they are thinking about suicide or if they have thought about a method, because just talking about it will give them the idea.
Fact: Asking people if they are thinking about suicide does not give them the idea for suicide. And it is important to talk about suicide with people who are suicidal because you will learn more about their mindset and intentions, and allow them to diffuse some of the tension that is causing their suicidal feelings.

Know your Resources:

  • CSU Chico Counseling Center: 530-898-6345
    • By appointment or crisis care, Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days week
  • Crisis Text Line: 741-741
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • University Police Department: 530-898-5555
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days week
  • 9-1-1
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days week