Suicide Prevention Misconceptions

On average, 29 people take their own life in water related suicides each year in Scotland. One of Water Safety Scotland’s key targets is to contribute to the reduction of water-related suicide.

Suicide is preventable and Water Safety Scotland wants to raise awareness of misconceptions and myths surrounding suicide in order to help overcome stigma and inaccurate stereotypes.

Our Suicide Prevention Subgroup is made up of experts in the field, such as Samaritans in Scotland and Support in Mind as well as organisations with a commitment to help prevent suicide such as RNLI, East Ayrshire Council, Angus Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Community Safety Network.

Common misconceptions about suicide are:

  • If someone is talking about completing suicide, they are not serious about it
  • Suicide can’t be prevented
  • People who are suicidal are also mentally ill
  • Suicidal thoughts mean that person wants to complete suicide
  • If I talk about suicide, it will make people more likely to complete suicide
  • Suicides only happen during the winter
  • People who are suicidal are just attention seeking

Below you can find various links to partner organisations which discuss these misconceptions and myths in detail.


If you or someone you know is experiencing crisis or distress please click a link below or call 999 and ask for help.