Remember in September Post #5. Prevent Suicide Yesterday. Today May Be Too Late.

I agree with the next two articles I shared on this post. I believe it is better to say “died by suicide” than “committed suicide. Suicide is stigmatized enough as it is. Suicide does not need to have an additional negative condemning term attached to it to describe the act of suicide.

A criminal commits murder. An ill and/or broken person dies by suicide. Suicide is not a crime that is committed. Suicide is a beautiful life lost and stolen usually by the destruction and pain of mental illness.

Suicide means ending your own life. It is sometimes a way for people to escape pain or suffering. When someone ends their own life, we say they “died by suicide.” A “suicide attempt” means that someone tried to end their life, but did not die.

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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

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article or news story and let them know that you strongly object to their usage of an INACCURATE, INSENSITIVE, and OUTDATED term.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.

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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 © All Rights Reserved. – Suicide, Prevention and Support

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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…

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

So, I will write and share a post every day during the month of September containing important facts, statistics and educational information about suicide and suicide prevention. The name of my campaign is called…

Remember in September.

Prevent suicide yesterday.

Today, may be too late.

Don’t let there be anymore “what if” or “if I only” yesterday statements.

Make your today never become a yesterday you will regret. 

Save lives. Talk about it. Don’t wait. Get help. Don’t let yesterday become too late.

If you have any stories or information about suicide prevention you would like me to share on my blog, please let me know. I would love to share any information you have. Thank you in advance for your contributions. Together we can do this. It takes a village…


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Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | | All Rights Reserved

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