Millions of people die by suicide each year. Those of us left behind are left reeling, wondering “what happened?”. We know very little about suicide and depression, and much of what we think we know is incorrect. This lack of correct information stands in the way of desperate people getting the help they need. Being well informed about depression/suicide can save the life of someone you know and love.

Take a look at the list below and see if you found yourself buying into any of these lies about suicide:

Myth 1: People who talk about killing themselves only want attention.

In truth, if someone is talking about killing themselves they are likely reaching out for help. Talk of suicide should always be taken seriously.

Myth 2: Suicide happens out of the blue and there is almost no way to see it coming.

There are always warning signs. Read about some here.

Myth 3: Only people of a particular race/gender/age/financial status are likely to die by suicide.

All people can be affected by depression and the desire to end their own life. Always take it seriously if someone tells you they are thinking of killing themselves.

Myth 4: You can’t help someone who is suicidal.

Most people who are suicidal don’t actually want their lives to end – they want the pain to end. If you offer support, understanding, and love, you can help them more than you realize.

Myth 5: You shouldn’t ask someone if they are suicidal, it will only plant the idea in their minds.

You will most certainly not be the person to introduce them to the idea of suicide. Asking them will help you understand their mindset and intentions. You may even save their life.

Myth 6: People who survive a suicide attempt won’t try again.

80% of people who die from suicide have already made a previous attempt.

Myth 7: Someone who stops acting depressed, and suddenly seems happier is out of danger.

Suicide rates are at their highest within three months of an apparent improvement in a depressive state. Just because someone looks better, doesn’t mean they are better. They still need you.