Myth busting

Myth busting

Myths – the film

Prentis, Sofia, Lesley, Raman and Saniya have lived experience of thoughts of suicide and suicide bereavement. In this film, each debunk a common myth surrounding suicide. Myths features real people, telling real stories of lived and living experience of suicide and suicide bereavement.

Myths – which was created by film agency, Brother – is a collaboration between PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) and Rethink Mental Illness.

If you’ve been affected by any of the themes addressed in this film, PAPYRUS and SoBS are here to support you.

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are concerned about a young person who might be, contact PAPYRUS’s suicide prevention helpline, HOPELINE247, on 0800 068 4141; text 88247 or email

For suicide bereavement support and advice, contact the SoBS National Support line on 0300 111 5065

The campaign

Thanks for wanting to learn more about our Myth busting campaign, which we have created in collaboration with Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBs) and Rethink Mental Illness.

The campaign exists to smash the stigma and debunk some of the most prevalent myths surrounding suicide.

This has been made possible through funding received by Rethink Mental Illness and North West London’s Integrated Care System’s Suicide Prevention Community Grant, which aims to provide financial support for projects supporting the prevention of suicide.

This Myth Busting campaign originally focused on North West London, as some boroughs within this region have suicide rates that are higher than the national average and are also home to a larger proportion of communities that are disproportionately affected, including ethnic minority groups and young people.

As all of our organisations operate within these boroughs, we wanted to undergo a joint endeavour to support one another, and the communities we serve in those areas, to address suicide prevention and bereavement, raise awareness of these issues and let those affected know where they can reach out to for support.

To collect suicide myths that were reflective of North West London communities, we sent out an anonymous survey to people living, residing or studying in those areas so they could let us know which ones they’d like to see debunked. We had a total of 96 respondents; the ten most prominent myths and their corresponding facts have been transformed into posters – at least one of which you have discovered today.

Since the launch of the campaign, we have expanded it’s reach to all of London and across the UK. This is in direct response to it’s success and requests from other communities to have the posters in their local area. These myths can be prevalent everywhere and our support and services are open to anyone.

Our ten myths and facts

Myth one

If someone has a ‘good’ life, they can’t feel suicidal.

Anyone at any time in their life can experience thoughts of suicide, regardless of their situation.

Myth two

If you are having thoughts of suicide, you must be ‘mentally ill.’

Many people who experience thoughts of suicide do not have a diagnosed mental health condition.

Myth three

If I talk about suicide, it might put the idea in someone’s head.

Having safe conversations around suicide will not make someone suicidal, instead it lets them know you are a person they can reach out to for support.

Myth four

Men don’t reach out for support with thoughts of suicide.

We hear from lots of men who have bravely reached out for support.

Myth five

People bereaved by suicide don’t want to talk about their loved one.

Most bereaved people still want to share their memories of the loved one they have lost, and celebrate their lives.

Myth six

It’s obvious when someone is experiencing thoughts of suicide.

 There are lots of different signs that someone may be suicidal, some are less easy to spot so it is always best to ask directly.

Myth seven

People who say they are suicidal are only ‘attention seeking’.

Telling someone you are experiencing suicidal thoughts takes a huge amount of courage and should always be taken seriously.

Myth eight

There’s a set time on grieving a loved one lost to suicide.

Bereavement is very personal to the individual and their journey is unique to them. This journey should be respected.

Myth nine

Suicide won’t affect me.

Suicide doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone at any time.

Myth ten

Only the family or friends of someone who’s died by suicide can be impacted by their death.

No matter how close you were to the person who died – if you need support with your feelings, they are valid and you are deserving of that care.

Further support

We understand that you may find the content of these posters distressing or they might trigger an experience you’ve had or are currently having related to suicide. It’s perfectly normal and valid to be feeling this way, and if you are, we are here to support you.

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are concerned about a young person who might be, please do reach out to PAPYRUS’s suicide prevention helpline, HOPELINE247, which is available any time, any day on 0800 068 4141

If you are grieving a loved one lost to suicide please do reach out to SoBs’ helpline which is open Monday & Tuesday 9am – 5pm: 0300 111 5065. Or to join your local peer support group, email:

More information

If you would generally like to know more about suicide prevention or are interested in getting some training to expand your knowledge, you can contact our England South team:

If you want to know more about SoBs’ services or which of its peer support groups is closest to you, please do visit their website: or get in contact via email:

If you’d like to find out more about Rethink’s services to support people with mental health conditions or concerns, please do visit their website:

Please do follow our social media accounts to stay up to date with our latest activities:


All of our PAPYRUS social media channels can be found at the bottom of our website.


Instagram: @sobscharity

Twitter: @SOBScharity


Instagram: @rethinkmentalillness

Tiktok: @rethinkmentalillness

Twitter: @rethink_

North West London Integrated Care System:

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