COUNSELING: Separating FACT from FICTION: Suicide

By Counseling Intern, Kristin Collins

Social distancing, self-isolation, unemployment, missed graduations, and many other unforeseen struggles and disappointments have arisen for many individuals as we face COVID-19. Living during these trying times can make one feel hopeless and helpless.  As we battle this pandemic together, some are fighting an internal battle of their own. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and an area of concern as we are faced with uncertainty and crisis. 


FICTION: Once a person decides to end their life, there is nothing that will change their mind. 

FACT: From studying suicide attempt survivors, experts have found that most are conflicted and unsure the whole way up until the last moment leading to their attempt. Most reveal that they did not want to die but felt they had no other way of ending their suffering, such as worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, or pain

FICTION: Talking about suicide can push someone to attempt suicide or put the thought in their head. 

FACT: Silence or unwillingness to talk about suicide can create isolation and does nothing to help an individual who is considering suicide. Studies show that talking about suicide can make a positive difference and reduce the stigma associated to suicide.

FICTION: A person who attempts suicide just wants attention. 

FACT: Those that are willing to risk their life to get attention are in need of attention. These individuals usually need professional help along with love, compassion, and understanding from their loved ones. 

FICTION: A majority of suicides happen without warning. 

FACT: Many individuals show warning signs that precede their suicide or suicide attempt. Those who attempt suicide or complete suicide may demonstrate warning signs that are only noticeable by individuals closet to them. So it is important to be aware of and understand such warning signs. 

Be concerned if someone you know:

  • Talks about committing suicide 
  • Exhibits drastic changes in behavior
  • Has trouble eating or sleeping 
  • Gives away prized possessions 
  • Has recently experienced serious loss 
  • Increases alcohol or drug use 
  • Takes unnecessary risk  
  • Withdraws from friends and/or family 
  • Loses interest in necessary activities (online school, work, hobbies, etc.) 

Anchorpoint’s family counseling services are here to help during this difficult time. If you or someone you know is struggling with loneliness, anxiety or depression, give us a call at 412-366-1300 or complete our Digital Intake form to take the first step today!

To receive more resources like this, you can sign up for our COVID-19 Resource Email List by clicking the link below.

If you need immediate help:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line:
Text 741-741
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC):
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):