Remember in September – A Daily Post for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Post #5

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Every day in the month of September I will post something related to suicide to increase awareness, educate and prevent suicide. It may be some important facts, an educational video, a music video, other videos, quotes, stories and anything to increase awareness, educate and give hope to everyone who has suicidal thoughts, suicidal ideations or is a survivor of a friend or family member that died by suicide.

I think the cause and message is very important. I want to make a post a day on my blog every day in the month of September for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is important for all of us to do our part.

We must make our voices heard very loud and strong about mental illness, mental illness stigma and suicide prevention. It is critical. It is crucial. Each life is priceless. We must prevent suicides and save lives.

We must elevate the level of awareness, education and the prevention of suicide of every day during the month of September and every day of the year now and forever.

Elevate your kindness, love and compassion for people of all races, colors, sizes, genders, religions, socio-economic levels, physical and cognitive disabilities and all people with mental illness.


Stop Saying “Committed Suicide,” Say ‘Died by Suicide’ Instead

by Kevin Caruso

Criminals commit crimes.

Suicide is not a crime.

So STOP SAYING “Committed Suicide.”

That is a term that needs to be expunged completely. It is inaccurate; it is insensitive; and it strongly contributes to the horrible stigma that is still associated with suicide.

A much better term is: “Died by Suicide.”

Sadly, it is very rare to actually see that term used by the media. The media, of course, is supposed to focus on ACCURACY in everything that they report. But when they use the term “Committed Suicide,” their reporting is already inaccurate.

And when the media uses that term, it makes it okay for everyone to use that term. Thus, the media need to take the lead by replacing “Committed Suicide” with “Died by Suicide.”

And you can help eradicate the term by contacting your local media proactively and letting them know that “Died by Suicide” is the accurate term, not “Committed Suicide.” Consider sending letters to your local newspapers and television news stations. And feel free to enclose a copy of this article and let them know that they can receive more information on Suicide.org.

You can also be reactive by sending letters every time that you hear the media use “Committed Suicide” instead of “Died by Suicide.” Refer to the exact article or news story and let them know that you strongly object to their usage of an INACCURATE, INSENSITIVE, and OUTDATED term.

By the way, what term do you use? Are you so conditioned to hearing the phrase “Committed Suicide” that you say it without a second thought. If so, it is time to clean house. You can be an example to other people. You can be part of the solution and not the problem. Start now.

And what do you do when you hear other people use the inaccurate phrase “committed suicide?” Do you sit idly by and let it slide? Or do you let them know that “Died by Suicide” is a much better phrase to use. There is no need to be impertinent, because many people simply do not know. All you need to do is speak up in a courteous and helpful way. And you will be part of the movement that is working on changing this outdated and insensitive term.

And you can START conversations about suicide and interject that phrase. Many people are afraid to discuss ANYTHING about suicide. That is absurd. We need to talk openly, intelligently, accurately, and sensitively about all aspects of suicide so we can raise suicide awareness, prevent more suicides, and assist more suicide survivors.

So help get the word out:

Criminals commit crimes.

Suicide is not a crime.

So STOP SAYING “Committed Suicide.”

Say “Died by Suicide” instead.

All Content Copyright © Suicide.org. All Rights Reserved. Suicide.org – Suicide, Prevention and Support


The next article is from the online magazine/newsletter “The Mighty.”

Please Stop Saying “Committed” Suicide

Before my brother Jeff died by suicide, I never thought about the language used to talk about suicide. Immediately following his death and for a long time after, I was in shock, so the terms used to describe how he died mattered little to me. But as time passes and the shock subsides, I’ve discovered that I bristle each time I hear the expression “committed” suicide. Historically, in the United States and beyond, the act of suicide was deemed a crime. Until as recently as 1963, six states still considered attempted suicide a criminal act. This is so insanely absurd to me that I’m not going to expend any more energy on the history of the topic but if you’re interested, here’s a link.

Thankfully laws have changed, but our language has not. And the residue of shame associated with the committal of a genuine crime remains attached to suicide. My brother did not commit a crime. He resorted to suicide, which he perceived, in his unwell mind, to be the only possible solution to his tremendous suffering. If I was telling you about a friend or loved one who actually did commit a crime, chances are I’d feel at least a little embarrassment or shame on behalf of that person. But I don’t feel even the tiniest bit of shame about how Jeff died. Of course, I wish with every fiber of my being we’d been able to successfully help Jeff and that he was alive today. But shame, nope, I don’t feel that about my brother. I focus on how proud I am of who he was in his life – passionate, thoughtful beyond words, brilliant, determined and braver than most people I know for enduring his pain as long as he did. Yes, Jeff Freeman was a brave, brave man. As is any person who grapples with deep emotional distress day after day, year after year.

So to say that someone “committed” suicide feels offensive to me, and I’m not easily offended. The offense is in the inaccuracy. With that said, I don’t judge people for using this expression – until August 17, 2007, I did the same. But now I don’t. And I humbly ask that you consider the same. When you have occasion to talk about suicide, please try to refer to someone dying by suicide

By shifting our language around suicide, we have the power to reduce some of the massive shame carried by survivors of suicide. If you feel scared or helpless about what to say to someone who’s lost someone to suicide, take comfort in knowing that, by changing your language about suicide, you’re offering a countercultural act of kindness.1 It might seem small but the interpersonal and political impact is nothing but huge.

This post originally appeared on Walking 18 Miles in My Brother’s Memory.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

This article is from the online magazine/newsletter “The Mighty” and was written by Kyle F., on July 21, 2015. Here is a link to the original article…

https://themighty.com/2015/07/why-you-shouldnt-say-committed-suicide/


 

I must confess that this first week in September will be difficult for me to make a great post a day each, but I will try my best. My son is getting married on Friday, September 8th. I will be very busy getting my house ready, finishing up on shopping, preparations and family coming to visit. Also, today is Tuesday, September 5th and it is the first day of school for my youngest daughter. It is her last first day of High School. That is exciting too. So, this first week in September is going to be a good, but busy week for me.

My first week in September is going to be busy, but I promise you that as the month progresses and I have more time, the posts (hopefully) will continue to get better and more beneficial for everyone. That is where my heart is.

Please remember in September to check out my blog every day for important and inspiring information about suicide prevention.

May your day be elevated with peace, happiness, joy and many blessings and may all your dreams come true today and every day forever and always. Have a peaceful, fabulous, happy and healthy day. Thank you for reading. Hugs, Sue

 

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9 comments

  1. I love this Sue, well done. I think “committed” suicide is biblical historically, thus the notion of a crime. I am with you and prefer the cause of death was depression – which I’ve seen the Australian media do recently and it’s only once you read further in the article you see it is suicide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and thank you for your very kind words. I greatly appreciate them. I am happy you liked the article. I believe even if someone dies by suicde they truly died by their many years of living with and fighting and strugglling to survive and live with bipolar disorder or depression. They lost their battle just like someone loses thier battle with cancer. It was esssetnially the illness that killed them and suicide is a symptom and an act that causes death and caused them to lose thier battle with the mental illness they had.

      Like

  2. Thank you for this valuable information. I will continue reading as it is very interesting to me. My favorite line is ‘what can we do?’ I feel responsible to have a red flag go off when I think anyone is considering suicide to be there for them. It takes a neighborhood to raise a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate them. We need to be there for anyone that is alone. I agree with your comments. It takes a nation of people and voices to increase awareness and educate about mental illness, mental illness stigma and to prevent suicides and save lives. It take a nation to love a world. Hugs and blessings, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love and appreciate your posts. Until reading this, I had never really thought about the word choice. I write frequently about suicide, and I have always prickled at “committed suicide”, but I’ve never heard “died by suicide” which is more accurate. Most of my articles have been about countering the notion of selfishness with suicide, and you hit the nail on the head here. Committed implies this was a malicious act, like a crime, and it deepens and reinforces the notion of selfishness. thank you so much for sharing this. I found your blog thanks to J-Dub, and I am so glad I did! I shared your post about lighting a candle and will do so!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them and I am happy I could help in some way and give you a new insight on how important word choice is. Thank you for writing about suicide. It is so important for all of us to do our part. You are awesome. Have a gloriously fabulous happy and healthy day. Hugs and blessings, Sue

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