Informational Material

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Ending Stigma

There is clear evidence that the stigma associated with suicide contributes to feelings of uncertainty, shame, and self-loathing which can prevent someone from seeking help. The stigma also prolongs and intensifies the grieving process for those who've lost a loved one to suicide. 

Healthy people do not die by suicide. Suicide is not the result of a bad choice, selfish act, nor a regrettable mistake. Suicide is the result of neurological irregularities that distort one’s reality, eliminate conscious control and impede one’s primal instinct to survive.

We must change the way we speak and think about depression and suicide in order to improve upon how we respond to those impacted by it. Our words impact our thoughts which impact our social and emotional responses.

We want to encourage healthy and supportive conversations around mental health and suicide by focusing on language that supports the individual. We recommend avoided phrases that could insinuate any sense of judgement and/or blame that is often associated with those who are living with depression or have died by suicide. ​​

The Way we Speak 

Phrases that Perpetuate the Stigma

  • You’re choosing to feel this way

  • You need to just get over it 

  • He took his own life 

  • She committed suicide

  • She killed herself   

  • He chose to die 

Phrases that Focus on the Imbalance

  • No one chooses to feel this way

  • I’m sorry you’re hurting

  • I lost him to suicide

  • He died by suicide

  • Depression caused his death

  • She lost her battle with depression

The Way We Think

  • Recognizing that depression is not a choice and that suicide is the result of an illness removes the judgement and blame often associated with those who are fighting or have lost their battle with depression.

  • Removing the stigma not only helps those fighting the battle of depression by allowing a safe space to ask for help, it also helps those who have lost a loved one to suicide by allowing them to focus on their grief instead of being consumed with trying to understand why their loved one would choose this path.

  • We live in a society of quick fixes and appearances which can result in covering up the pain, but not necessarily working through it. At The Lotus Project we want to encourage those who are struggling with depression and/or grief to explore authentic healing.

  • Believe that healing is possible. Understand that healing doesn’t mean we don’t still feel the pain, but the pain no longer consumes us. Nor does it prevent us from living a life of joy, peace, hope, and success.

  • Avoid using phrases that diminish the belief that healing is possible:

    • “You can never get over the pain of losing a loved one to suicide … you merely learn to live with it.”

    • “It’s impossible to ever fully heal from a loss such as this.”

The Way We Respond 


Whether a person is fighting depression or is grieving the loss of a loved one, the pain and uncertainty they are experiencing is difficult to express and even more difficult to manage. Please be patient and compassionate in your words and actions.

  • Words and actions that are coming from a place of love can never be wrong, but be patient and understanding if the person you’re trying to support isn’t in a state of mind to receive them

  • Ask how you can best help them

  • Seek additional help if you are concerned for their physical, emotional, and/or mental well-being

  • Be Present

    • Being present isn’t about physically being with someone 24 hours a day, it is about intentional and authentic check-ins.

    • Being present doesn’t hold you accountable for another person’s well-being, but it does demonstrate your intentions to offer genuine support.

    • Being present is a blessing to a person who feels isolated and incapable of surviving on their own.

Liability Disclaimer

GOOD is attempting to raise awareness and encourage exploration of wellness, but is not offering medical advice or crisis intervention strategies. Please speak with a medical professional of your choosing to discover the best method of healing for you.