After a Suicide
Most people contemplating suicide may not want to die; they want to stop the pain and difficulties they are suffering.
• On average, two people die by suicide every day in Scotland
• Talking about suicide saves lives
• If you are worried about someone talk to them, it could save their life
• If you feel suicidal, don't hide it, talk to someone you trust or phone a helpline
• Suicide affects all ages, genders and cultures.
Suicide is one of the main causes of death among young people in Scotland today.
Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. One suicide represents lost life, lost talent, lost creativity, a lost mother or father, brother, sister, son or daughter and a wound that does not easily heal in those who are left behind.
Suicide and stigma
Effective suicide prevention is made difficult by the stigma attached. Taboos prevent us from speaking freely about the problem and discussing what we can do. Stigma leads to misunderstanding and intolerance, which are barriers to change.
Public attitudes need to change; increased awareness and understanding can reduce a largely preventable major public health problem. Most people cannot identify with or empathise with those affected. Unfortunately awkwardness, denial, secrecy and avoidance remain common.
Serious talk about suicide reduces risk. The best way to identify the possibility of suicide is to ask directly. Open talk and genuine concern about someone's thoughts of suicide are a source of relief and are key elements in preventing the immediate danger of suicide.
Stigma also makes it difficult for people who have lost a loved one to suicide. It may prevent them from telling others the cause of death, and others don't quite know how to react. Bereavement from suicide should be treated like any other loss, and help is on hand for those bereaved by suicide.