There are a lot of myths surrounding suicide. Myths like if you ask someone about suicide, you will give them the idea to do it. That’s just not true.
What is true is this; suicide is preventable. Anyone, even a teen, can help prevent it if they know what to look for and what to do. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide. Teen Lifeline is here to listen and to help:
In Maricopa County, AZ: 602-248-8336 (TEEN)
Statewide in Arizona: 800-248-8336 (TEEN)
It is important to know the facts about suicide so that you know what to look for when you are worried about someone you care about. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- When a young person is suicidal, they do not want to die. They want the pain and sadness to go away. They may have tried to cope with the problem on their own but have not found relief from the pain. They may be scared to ask for help or let others know how and what they feel. When they think about what else they can do, suicide might be something they start to consider. For most teens, they do not think of it as being permanent. They think of it as a way out.
- Suicidal youths often give both verbal and non-verbal warning signs that may go unnoticed by those around them. Sometimes it is hard for adults to know the difference between typical growing up problems and those that are more serious. That is why it is so important for parents, teachers, caretakers, and friends to know what to look for.
- Many people are afraid to ask someone directly if they are thinking about suicide because then you might give them the idea. This is not true. Not talking about suicide may prove deadly if someone is already thinking about doing so. Most people considering suicide want to talk about how they feel and are relieved when someone recognizes their pain.
- If someone reveals to you that they are suicidal, do not keep it a secret. They may be upset at first, but by getting them the help they need, you may be saving their life. If you’re a teen, get an adult involved. That adult can be a parent, teacher, coach, or someone else you trust.
- Some may disregard suicidal behavior as just someone looking for attention. All suicidal threats must be taken seriously. Remember: Suicidal gestures, self-harm, or attempts that begin as manipulative behavior can escalate and ultimately end in death.
The most important thing to remember is that SUICIDE IS PREVENTABLE! And anyone, from a teacher to a parent to a friend, can prevent it!
Educate yourself by getting to know the warning signs and risk factors, or consider attending one of our free gatekeeper training courses. If you are concerned about someone and unsure of your next steps, call us at 602-248-8336 (TEEN) or 800-248-8336 (TEEN).
Remember, Teen Lifeline is free and confidential.