Myths and Facts Regarding Suicide

In honor of National Suicide Prevention month, it is important to remember that suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background.  In order to have an open and honest discussion on suicide, it is vital to address certain myths about suicide.

Myth: Suicide is an act of aggression, anger, or revenge.

Those who kill themselves often do so because they feel like they do not belong, or that their existence is a burden and their death will free their loved ones.

Myth: Talking to a troubled person about suicide will put ideas into that person’s head.

If they have been thinking about it and you ask, the exact opposite is often true.  It is likely to provide a great deal of relief to the person.  Trying to avoid the topic, however, will likely be embarrassing to the person and they will begin to feel guilty that they are having thoughts.

Myth: People who talk about suicide really want to die.

People do not usually want to die, but do not want to continue living like they feel right now.  Suicide may seem like the only option they have left to make things better.  Often, suicide is contemplated with a great deal of ambivalence.

To continue this discussion, please join our Health Planning Region for an event on September 29th, entitled “The Strength it Takes: Suicide Prevention Today” at Piedmont Virginia Community College in the Dickinson building.  From 11 am – 12 pm, there will be a QPR training with Christy Letsom.  From 1pm – 3:30pm we will hear from speakers Lt. Diggs (the dancing officer), and Dr. Reed the director of SPRC.  Food trucks be on site in the Dickinson parking lot.  Certification for QPR training, and CE’s will be awarded for attending the event.  Visit this website to register:

If you — or someone you know — needs help, please call 1.800.273.8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

For the HRCSB’s 24-hours Emergency Services, please call 540.434.1766.


Brandy Haden
M.Ed., Behavioral Health and Wellness Coordinator 
Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board