If you think someone is thinking about suicide, assume you are the only one who will reach out. Here’s how to talk to someone who may be struggling with their mental health.
Have an honest conversation
- Talk to them in private
- Listen to their story
- Tell them you care about them
- Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide
- Encourage them to seek treatment or contact their doctor or therapist
- Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice
- Assume you’re the only one who will reach out
If You’re Concerned About Someone
Talk in Private
- Listen to their story, and let them know you care.
- Ask directly about suicide, calmly and without judgement.
- Show understanding and take their concerns seriously.
- Let them know their life matters to you.
That one conversation could save a life.
If a Person Says They Are Thinking About Suicide
Take the Person Seriously
Someone considering suicide is experiencing a life-threatening health crisis and may not believe they can be helped. Work with them to keep them safely away from lethal means like firearms and drugs and remind them that their suffering is temporary.
Stay with them and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Be sure to follow up with them after the crisis to see how they’re doing.