MYTH: Students who are suicidal want to die, so it may be tough to change their minds.
FACT: Thinking about or attempting suicide is often not about wanting to die, but about having to end emotional pain a student is in. This “psychache”can be oppressive and unrelenting, leading the student to consider suicide as the only way out.
MYTH: Students who are suicidal today tend to remain in this frame of mind over time.
MYTH: Asking a student directly about suicide intent can put the thought in their mind.
FACT: Research shows that asking high-school students about suicide didn’t induce stress, but, on the contrary, can actually relieve distress. Talking with an understanding, non-judgmental adult may help lift the emotional burden a student is carrying.
MYYTH: Students often seek attention by talking about their self-destructive behavior.
FACT: While talking about their suicidal thoughts or behaviors can garner attention, this doesn’t mean these students are not at risk. Because suicidal people may not actually want to die, talking about their intent may be their way to reach out for help.
MYYTH: When a student’s mood lifts after a suicidal crisis, the danger is likely over.
FACT: Just as people can intervene to prevent diabetic shock or choking, so too teachers, administrators, coaches, friends and family may help save a suicidal student. A key component is knowing what to do.