Suicide – Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, suicide and the issues surrounding it are often misunderstood. This has resulted in a number of ‘suicide myths.’ We will attempt to dispel some of these myths by answering some frequently asked questions.

Q: If a person becomes suicidal will they remain so?
A: No, the feelings will subside and possibly return but people can also experience an isolated instance of feeling suicidal and never experience such a feeling again.

Q: Are all suicides preventable?
A: Most suicides are preventable. We encourage people to learn about the warning signs associated with suicide, so they can become more suicide aware and play a part in suicide prevention.

Q: Do suicidal people really want to die?
A: The majority of people who are suicidal want help – they are just desperate to end their pain and think killing themselves will achieve this.

Q: Is it true that those who talk about suicide won’t actually do it?
A: No, talk of suicide or showing signs associated with suicidal thoughts or intent are common in those that go on to kill themselves. You should always take comments and references made in relation to suicide seriously.

Q: Do people who are suicidal always give warnings?
A: Most, but not all, do. Some of the warning signs associated with suicide are outlined in the Suicide Awareness and Prevention page of this site. Warning signs can include talk of suicide and/or clues can be found in behaviour. Please read the relevant page for more information.

Q: If a suicidal person appears to feel better, are they no longer suicidal?
A: Not necessarily. A person who is suicidal may suddenly appear happier or more content. However, this can sometimes be because they have made the decision to end their life and believe they will soon be free from pain and suffering.

Q: Will talking about suicide put the idea into someone’s head?
A: No, in fact talking about suicide may actually help because if a person is suicidal it will provide them with the opportunity to talk about how they are feeling and it opens the pathways to help.

Q: Is suicide a selfish act?
A: Suicide can occur when psychological or emotional pain far outweigh the ability to cope and it is an act of desperation, rather than selfishness. People who are suicidal are in deep pain and the depth of this pain can be difficult for others to comprehend.