In Ottawa, adult males and teenage girls are the two groups at most risk of self-harm injuries and suicide according to data (Burden of Injury Report 2010, Ottawa Public Health). According to the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (2009), 8 per cent of Ottawa students have seriously considered attempting suicide. In addition, one in 11 Ottawa residents (9.2 per cent) report that they have considered suicide at one point in their life (Statistics Canada, 2007). In Ontario, the direct and indirect costs of suicide and self-harm are $842 million, with the long term consequences of permanent or partial disability, violence and subsequent suicide attempts (Smartrisk, 2009).
SUICIDE: MYTHS and FACTS
Myth #1: Talking about suicide will give someone the idea, or permission to consider suicide as a solution to their problems.
Fact: Talking about suicide without showing fear or making judgments can bring relief to someone who is feeling isolated. Encouraging someone to speak about their suicidal feelings can reduce the risk of an attempt.
Myth #2: Suicide is sudden and unpredictable
Fact: Suicide is most often a process not an event. Eight out of ten people who die by suicide gave some or even many indications of their intentions.
Myth #3: Suicidal individuals are only seeking attention or trying to manipulate others
Myth #4: Suicidal people are determined to die
Fact: These individuals are in pain. They don’t necessarily want to die; they want their pain to end. If their ability to cope is stretched to the limit it can seem that death is the only way to make the pain stop.
Myth #5: A suicidal person will always be at risk
Fact: Most people feel suicidal at some time in their lives. Learning effective coping techniques to deal with stressful situations can help.
Canadian Mental Health Association Website
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