Dying by suicide

DYING BY SUICIDE – the importance of using the right words

It has been brought to my attention that the term committed suicide is neither politically correct nor inaccurate. Until quite recently, although we lost our son this way, we did not know of another way to describe this horror. But now I no longer use that term and humbly ask that you consider this. When you have occasion to talk about suicide, please try to refer to someone as dying by suicide. By shifting our language, we have the power to reduce some of the massive shame carried by many survivors of suicide. If you feel nervous or helpless about what to say to someone you know who’s lost someone this way, take comfort in knowing that by changing your language about suicide, you’re offering a countercultural act of kindness.

Although it might seem a small issue, the interpersonal impact is nothing but huge.


2 thoughts on “Dying by suicide

  1. HN

    I changed the intro to The Benny Fund (http://bennyfund.org) because of this post. Thank you, Jill. I typically say “took his own life,” but the term “dying by suicide” acknowledges the struggle. Someone with, for example, schizophrenia, did not kill themselves. They were the unfortunate victim of their mind — and had to live with an immense amount of pain. I thank you, again.



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