“If You Wanted to Kill Yourself, You Would Have Done It”

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From The Independent: The notion of choice is increasingly being used to discourage suicidal people from seeking help. Many people’s suicidal thoughts and actions are not taken seriously; clients have been told, “If you really wanted to kill yourself, you would have done it.”

“We are not talking about nuanced Schopenhauerian conversations about the right to die here. In the context of deep despair, the idea of choice is a deadly one, absolving the other party from doing everything they can to help the person in pain. If one is suicidal it is very difficult to feel any hope that things might change; one is often exhausted. It is crucial that hope is held actively by mental health professionals at these bleakest moments in a life.

Yet the idea of choice is being used increasingly to rebuff those who seek help when suicidal, a discursive move that an increasingly burnout mental health workforce appears to be using more often. This makes those suffering feel rejected and further alienated – key trigger factors to suicide.”

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