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5 Myths About Suicide We Need To Stop Believing

Suicide is complex and sadly more common than you think. But there are lots of myths about what you should/shouldn't do and how you should feel. Here are 5 myths that are definitely not true. Trigger warning: The following article contains discussion of suicide. If you are feeling suicidal and need support you can call the Samaritans for free by calling 116 123, or 999 if you need urgent medical attention.

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1. Talking about suicide could put the idea in someone’s head or make them try it / Via

The word suicide can feel like a very scary word to say and is often seen as a taboo subject, making it difficult for people to reach out for help when they’re struggling.

But if someone is already thinking about suicide, talking won't make it worse - instead it gives a person the chance to be honest about how they are feeling. Talking about suicide is so important.

2. Talking about, or attempting suicide is attention seeking

BBC / Via

Of course not! If someone is talking about suicide it should be taken seriously, and it's a big deal that they felt they could tell you. Reaching out for help is an really difficult thing to do, so it's important to give people the support they need.

3. Young people are not at risk of suicide / Via

Suicide is the leading cause of death in under 30 year olds in the UK, and is the second leading cause of death of 15-24 year olds worldwide. And its very common to have thoughts of suicide, in fact 1 in 4 young people think about it – so if you are having these thoughts you're not alone.

4. Suicide is 'selfish' / Via

Suicide is not selfish. In a lot of cases people who commit suicide believe that the people they love would be better off without them. It can't be selfish because they don't see any other option.

5. No one can help

Late Night With Seth Meyers / Via

Suicide is an isolating experience, whether you’re thinking of suicide, have lost someone to suicide or are worried about someone you love. But you're not alone and there are people who can help. Talking to family and friends can be good but if you don’t feel like you can, there are loads of great services out there:

University of Leeds Counselling Service

LUU Student Advice



Dial house

Leeds Nightline - Student run helpline open every night from 8pm-8am. The number is on the back of your student card.

But of course if you or someone you know is in crisis or needs urgent mental health support call 999

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