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suicide myths



Myth-Busting on World Suicide Prevention Day


Mayo Clinic, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Debunk Common Suicide Myths

ROCHESTER, MN; September 10, 2013—Talking to someone about suicide will increase the chances that they will act on it—true or false? False. The truth: When someone is in crisis or depressed, asking if he or she is thinking about suicide can help. Giving a person an opportunity to open up and share their troubles can help alleviate their pain and open a path to solutions. This is just one of many suicide prevention myths to debunk as we approach World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.

Suicide is a growing public health crisis. There were more than 38,000 suicides in 2010 in the United States, an average of 105 each day, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There is one suicide for every 25 attempted suicides, and suicide results in an estimated $34.6 billion in combined medical and work-loss costs.

"If we know anything about suicide, it's that many suicides are preventable if we can get people through a crisis and intervene," says Timothy Lineberry, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and suicide prevention expert. "There are many steps we can take to tackle this public health crisis and debunking myths is certainly one of them.

"One of the most common myths about suicide is that talking about it won't help," says Robert Gebbia, executive director, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "We know that starting a conversation about depression or suicidal thoughts can actually encourage someone to open up and get the help they need."

Other suicide myths busted:


Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit



Press materials provided by the Mayo Clinic News Bureau.

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