Suicide is not selfish

Great response to those who think suicide is a selfish act..

NASW-NC Social Work Blog

By Jennifer Cobb, MSW, LCSW; NASW-NC Member, Guilford County Local Program Unit Chair

In the wake of the horrible news of Robin Williams death, and the knowledge that there were statistically around 85 other deaths by suicide on that same day (on average, a death by suicide in the United States occurs every 17 minutes {Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010}), I felt compelled to write.

While the overall response has been warm and supportive, I can’t overlook the number of times that I’ve seen or heard someone say, “What a selfish thing to do” or “what a coward.” Every time I hear this, it takes my breath away. Selfish…dying at your own hands to end the personal torment that only you know…that’s selfish?

I agree, suicide is a very tragic experience for the survivors…I know both on a personal level and a professional level…but that’s not the point…

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