To Reduce the Rate of Suicide We Must Understand It

A death resulting from neurological irregularities that distort one’s reality, eliminate conscious control and impede one’s primal instinct to survive.

GOOD's Definition of Suicide

Mental Illness Induced Suicide

The result of an individual experiencing ongoing mental health struggles that causes them to believe that it is impossible to ever feel better.



The result of an individual experiencing a sudden yet overwhelming belief that everything would be better if they were no longer alive coupled with a lack of impulse control.

Types of Suicide

Causes of Suicide

While there is no one thing to blame for causing suicide and everyone’s individual circumstances are different, an individual is at highest risk of suicide when the following three factors occur simultaneously.

Extreme Distress


Loss of Belief


At GOOD, we believe it is important to note that suicide itself is not contagious. What is contagious and highly increases the risk of suicide is loss of hope.  

It is the thought, "If they couldn't get through this, how can I?"

Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts do not have to be something we fear. We can shift our perspective and recognize that suicidal thoughts are our brain's way of indicating to us that it is in pain. It is not any different that the pain one feels if they break a bone - it is an intense and extreme alarm letting us know that intervention is needed.

Craig A. Miller

"Rather than fearing suicidal thoughts, I see them as a warning mechanism that is alerting me to the fact that something is wrong, and help is needed."

How to Respond to Suicidal Thoughts


  • Talk to someone about what you're feeling

  • Engage in a physical activity

    • Physical activities that involve sweating help to detox the body

    • Physical activities that involve deep pressure/high impact calm the nervous system

    • Physical activities that involve nature can reduce stress and mental fatigue, and improve clarity, energy, mood and self-esteem

  • Try to identify what may have triggered these feelings

    • environment │ food │ social interaction │ obligations │ unexpected life changing event │ etc.

  • Implement coping strategies that include mindfulness exercises

  • Contact your practitioner 

  • Learn about various modalities of healing to prevent future episodes

  • When possible avoid people and environments that cause you extreme stress and anxiety

Caring for Others

  • Above all else ... be loving

  • Be patient

  • Be persistent in offering support and encouragement

  • Show compassion and a willingness to listen

  • Avoid statements that will cause feelings of guilt or shame

  • Stay present and attentive to their body language, eyes, and speech

  • Encourage the person to engage in physical activities and/or mindfulness exercises

  • Focus the conversation on something the person loves, something that brings them comfort, and/or something that reminds them of why they want to live

  • Encourage the individual to learn about various modalities of healing to help prevent future episodes

  • Be an advocate, but avoid taking full responsibility for the other person’s wellness

  • Ensure you have the support you need to stay healthy – no one can do it all on their own

  • Avoid assuming that the person is feeling suicidal and/or at risk of self-harm at all times