Army Surgeon General Blogs on Suicide Myths

As part of National Suicide Prevention Month, LTG Eric B. Schoomaker has been blogging to dispel suicide myths with facts about how individuals can help prevent the suicide of a Soldier, Veteran, Family member or a friend. Each day LTG Schoomaker explores a different myth with a new blog entry and below are a few of the myths that he as covered on his blog:

Myth: Non-fatal attempts are only attention-getting behaviors.

Fact: For some people suicidal behaviors are serious invitations to others to help them live. Rather than punishing or reprimanding someone who has expressed suicidal thoughts offer help and alternative answers. Get them to talk to a Chaplain or counselor. Suicidal behaviors must be taken seriously. If not addressed a thought of suicide can become an act of suicide.

Myth: Only a professional can help a suicidal person.

Fact: While long term care should be handled by a professional, immediate recognition of a suicidal person or someone in need of help is up to you. By paying attention to what the person is saying, taking it seriously, offering support, and getting help you can prevent a potential tragedy. Many are lost to suicide because immediate support wasn’t offered.

Myth: Just because they talk about suicide does not mean they will actually go through with it.

Fact: Almost everyone who commits suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like “You’ll be sorry when I’m dead,” or “I can’t see any way out”-no matter how casually or jokingly said-may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

To read the rest of LTG Schoomaker’s myths and facts about suicide, please click here to visit The Surgeon General’s Blog.

Additionally, be sure to check out these great resources on suicide prevention in the Army and across the Department of Defense:

DCoE Outreach Center 1-866-966-1020
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255


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