Suicide is regarded as taboo in many societies to openly discuss it due to lack of awareness. Among young people aged 15-29, suicide was the fourth leading cause of death after road injury, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence. There are myths that have been deep-rooted till date. Some of the myths are that “People who speak about suicide do not have the intention of committing it” but the truth is “Who speak about suicide can be requesting assistance or support. Another myth is “The majority of suicides happen suddenly, without previous warning.” The truth, however is “The majority of suicides have been preceded by signs of verbal or behavioral warning. Actually, some suicides are committed without previous warning. But it is important to know the warning signs and take them into account.”
“Only the people with mental disorders commit suicide” is another myth we hear commonly but the reality is “The suicidal behavior indicates a profound unhappiness, but not necessarily a mental disorder. Many people who live with mental disorders are not affected by the suicidal behavior, and not all the people that kill themselves have a mental disorder.”
The common myth we hear occasionally is “Person who has attempted to commit suicide, will never attempt again” but the truth is “People who had attempted suicide in the past are at higher risk of attempting suicide in the future.”
Suicides are preventable. Coordination and collaboration among multiple sectors of society, including the health sector and other sectors such as education, labour, agriculture, business, justice, law, defense, politics, and the media is important for Suicide prevention efforts. Suicide is a complex issue, no single approach alone can make an impact without other supportive efforts. Awareness and education is the key element. Mental health is as important as physical health. One must remember that there is no health without mental health.
By: CWIN Nepal
Writer: Rampukar Sah, clinical psychologist (M.Phil)