Originally posted on PhD Balance social media platforms on 09/10/2020.
CW: Mentions of Suicide
Today is World Suicide Prevention day. The topic of suicide is heavy and difficult to talk about. There are taboos associated with suicide that go beyond the stigma of mental illness that make it harder to talk about. At PhD Balance, we want to make sure not to shy away from those difficult conversations, but also to have those conversations in the healthiest way we can.
Here are some starting points for talking about suicide and suicide prevention:
1) Change your language from “committed suicide” to “died by suicide”. The former imparts blame and criminal act, while the latter gives respect to the victim.
2) Stay away from toxic positivity. If a friend trusts you enough to share their feelings, validate them and help them find the resources they need to heal. Telling them “everything will be okay” can shut down the conversation and push your friend away.
3) Don’t try to handle this on your own. Suicide prevention can start with you, but it is a heavy task. If a friend comes to you with suicidal thoughts or ideation, help them find professional resources.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideation, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) 1-800-273-8255 or visit afsp.org for additional resources. You can find your county's suicide hotline at suicide.org.