Suicide

1

Tumi has been unemployed for almost a year now. After months of trying, he’s lost the motivation to keep looking for work. His girlfriend left and took their baby to her family, because he wasn’t providing for them.

Since she left, he’s been drinking most days until he passes out. This is the only way he’s able to fall asleep. When he’s awake, with nothing to do, he thinks too much about everything he’s lost. He starts thinking about dying and ways he can die, because he doesn’t know if he can keep experiencing this pain and loneliness.

He’s too afraid to talk to anyone about these thoughts. He knows what people say about men who think about killing themselves.

Myths about suicidal thoughts

  • People who talk about their suicidal thoughts are just seeking attention.
  • People who think about or attempt suicide are weak or selfish.
  • Only people with a mental illness think about suicide or attempt suicide.
  • If someone is thinking about suicide, this means they will attempt suicide.
  • If you talk to the person about their suicidal thoughts, it will increase the risk of them attempting suicide.

Facts about suicidal thoughts

  • If you know someone is thinking about suicide, you need to take them seriously. If someone is sharing these thoughts with you, it likely means they are really not coping and need help.
  • Thinking about or attempting suicide is not a sign of weakness or selfishness. 
    Not acting on these thoughts and managing emotional pain actually takes an enormous amount of strength.
    Often people decide to act on these thoughts because they believe they’re a burden to their loved ones.
  • Having a mental illness can increase the risk of someone thinking about suicide or engaging in suicidal behaviour. However, during times of crisis or significant stress anyone is at risk of thinking about suicide.
  • Many people who think about suicide will never attempt suicide. Thinking about suicide doesn’t mean the person wants to, intends to, or plans to act on these thoughts.

    There are many effective ways to stop someone acting on these thoughts.
  • Talking about suicide does NOT increase the risk of someone acting on these thoughts. In fact, talking openly and non-judgmentally about suicide can help them:
    • Feel less alone.
    • Not be so overwhelmed by everything.
    • Gain perspective.
  •  

Myths about suicidal thoughts

  • People who talk about their suicidal thoughts are just seeking attention.
  • People who think about or attempt suicide are weak or selfish.
  • Only people with a mental illness think about suicide or attempt suicide.
  • If someone is thinking about suicide, this means they will attempt suicide.
  • If you talk to the person about their suicidal thoughts, it will increase the risk of them attempting suicide.

Facts about suicidal thoughts

  • If you know someone is thinking about suicide, you need to take them seriously. If someone is sharing these thoughts with you, it likely means they are really not coping and need help.
  • Thinking about or attempting suicide is not a sign of weakness or selfishness. 
    Not acting on these thoughts and managing emotional pain actually takes an enormous amount of strength.
    Often people decide to act on these thoughts because they believe they’re a burden to their loved ones.
  • Having a mental illness can increase the risk of someone thinking about suicide or engaging in suicidal behaviour. However, during times of crisis or significant stress anyone is at risk of thinking about suicide.
  • Many people who think about suicide will never attempt suicide. Thinking about suicide doesn’t mean the person wants to, intends to, or plans to act on these thoughts.

    There are many effective ways to stop someone acting on these thoughts.
  • Talking about suicide does NOT increase the risk of someone acting on these thoughts. In fact, talking openly and non-judgmentally about suicide can help them:
    • Feel less alone.
    • Not be so overwhelmed by everything.
    • Gain perspective.

How to cope with suicidal thoughts