Suicide Issues
Suicide Myths in Light of World Suicide Prevention Day
Sep 9, 2013 - 11:31:01 AM

( - ROCHESTER, Minn. - 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 aboutsuicide 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:

To interview Mayo Clinic or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention experts about suicide prevention, please contact Nick Hanson at [email protected] or 507-284-5005.


About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to For information about research and education, visit (


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