Talking about Suicide
Give accurate information about suicide
Suicide is a complicated behavior. It is not caused by a single event such as a bad grade, an argument with parents, or the breakup of a relationship.
In most cases, suicide is caused by an underlying mental disorder like depression or substance abuse. Mental disorders affect the way people feel and prevent them from thinking clearly and rationally. Having a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, and help is available.
Talking about suicide in a calm, straight forward manner does not put ideas into an individual's mind.
Address blaming and scapegoating
It is common to try to answer the question “why?” after a suicide death. Sometimes this turns into blaming others for the death.
Do not focus on the method or graphic details
Talking in graphic detail about the method can create images that are upsetting and can increase the risk of imitative behavior by vulnerable youth.
If asked, it is okay to give basic facts about the method, but don’t give graphic details or talk at length about it. The focus should be not on how someone killed themselves but rather on how to cope with feelings of sadness, loss, anger, etc.
REASONS WHY SCHOOLS SHOULD ADDRESS SUICIDE
While everyone who cares for and about young people should be concerned with youth suicide, schools have special reasons for taking action to prevent these tragedies:
Help for You and Your Family
Realize you are not alone
Reach out for support. Please consider visiting utahsuicideprevention.org and access the "After a Suicide" section.
Request a personal call or visit from another survivor of suicide loss, at no cost, by participating in the Survivor Outreach Program at afsp.org/find-support/ive-lost-someone
Recognize your own feelings
Be open and willing to engage in help-seeking behaviors
Talk to others about your feelings. This will help relieve your stress and help you realize that your feelings are shared by other victims.
Accept help from others in the spirit in which it is given. Wouldn’t you help them?
Whenever possible, take time off and do something you enjoy
Get enough rest
Get as much physical activity as possible, such as running or walking
Give someone a hug – touching is very important