Suicide Prevention: Choose Your Words Wisely

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — September 30, 2020 — 2 min read
It’s important to change the language around suicide, to avoid shaming those who have attempted or completed suicide. Someone you’re talking with could be considering suicide. Or, perhaps, they’ve been directly affected by it. Either way, your words matter.

Avoid Stigmatizing Suicide

Say this

Not That

Died by suicide, ended their life Committed suicide
Completed suicide Successful suicide
Attempted suicide Failed suicide attempt

Be Direct if You Think Someone’s Considering Suicide

Say This

Not That

Are you thinking about killing yourself? Are you thinking about doing something bad to yourself?
Are you thinking about taking your life? Are you thinking about harming yourself?

Reach Out—Don’t Wait for Them to Ask You for Help

Say This

Not That

Have you considered seeing a professional/therapist to help understand what you’re feeling? I can help you get connected, so you are not alone in this.  You shouldn’t kill yourself because:
  • That’s selfish
  • Your family would miss you
  • There are others who have it worse
  • You will go to Hell
What you’re going through is hard. I am here for you.  Would you like to talk about it? Suicide is just a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Hey! How have you been feeling? Seems like we haven’t spoken in a while. I wanted to check in as I care about you. You should call me more.
Please come to me whenever you’re feeling sad. I don’t need your bad vibes.
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