- Remain calm. Be honest with the person, let them know you care, that there is hope and that you will help.
- Be compassionate. Acknowledge that what they are going through is difficult.
- Let the person know that talking can help alleviate the feeling of hopelessness. Help the person evaluate how they have coped with other situations in the past.
- Help the person talk about their feelings.
- DO NOT LEAVE ANY INDIVIDUAL IN IMMINENT DANGER OF SUICIDE ALONE. Make arrangements for professional help, call 911, or go to the emergency room.
- Remove any lethal means from the person’s environment.
- Do not agree to confidentiality.
- Be candid about what the person is feeling and thinking. Ask the question directly “Do you sometimes feel so bad that you think about suicide?”
- If the person has thought about suicide, find out if they have a plan, if they have the means, and if they’ve told anyone else about this.
- If you don’t feel as though you can handle a discussion about suicide, get somebody who can. Don’t ignore the situation.
- Do not warn, moralize, preach, give advice or judge what the person is telling you.
- Actively listen to content and feeling.
- Be prepared to get appropriate help.
- If you’re not getting the help you are seeking for your friend, keep trying. Ask someone else!
Confidential Crisis Help Line:
1-866-912-HOPE (toll free)
Samaritans Statewide Help Line:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: