May 19, 2017

Talking about suicide helps prevent it, writes Counseling alumna

Nitika Gupta, a Licensed Professional Counselor, recently wrote about suicide prevention for the Huffington Post. A graduate of Penn GSE’s Professional Counseling M.Phil.Ed. and M.S.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling, she’s a practicing clinician in Mumbai, India.

“There exists a ubiquitous misconception that talking about suicide, particularly to naïve, impressionable youth, might plant the undesirable idea in their minds.” Gupta writes.

“Research shows that discussing suicide does not increase a person's likelihood of attempting it. It's quite the contrary actually—by talking about suicide with an individual who seems to be at risk, you could give them an impetus to disclose their ideations. The chance to speak up could reduce the isolation and loneliness that go hand-in-hand with suicidal feelings. We are so avoidant of talking about suicide, but we don't realise that while we are trying to prevent the seed from being planted in the person's mind, there is already a tree that is growing unchecked.”

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