If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening situation, call

800-273-8255

Resources:

Conversation Tips & Tricks:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask. If you suspect someone is thinking about suicide, ask them. Research shows that you won’t plant the idea or make the ideation stronger. Encourage folks to talk about their feelings of suicide and offer empathy. You don’t have to be a mental health clinician to make someone feel slightly less alone.

    • “It sounds like you’re feeling [insert emotion: lonely, defeated, helpless, etc]. Sometimes when people feel that way they have thoughts of ending their life. Have you experienced any of those thoughts?”

  • You first. These conversations carry a lot of weight and you aren’t expected to be an expert. If you aren’t comfortable talking about suicide, it’s ok to use the following language to offer resources and then get the conversation back on topic.

    • “You were brave to share how you’re feeling with me. I’m here for you. I also want to make sure you have access to resources that may have more expertise. Can I share a few resources that might be helpful?”

    • “I’m hearing how upset you’ve been. Those feelings are valid and I want to help get the support you need, but I might not be the best person to help. Can I share a few resources with you?”

  • Avoid guilt trips. Talking about suicide can be heavy and it’s powerful that they chose to share with you. It might be tempting to remind folks of the people who they might be hurting if they ended their life, but it’s rarely helpful. Instead, validate how brave they were to be honest about their feelings and to seek help.

  • Offer resources. It’s important to connect with mental health professionals or helplines who are able to support someone thinking about suicide. Utilize one or more of the above resources to ensure folks get a higher level of care when needed.

  • Safe for now. Before ending a call, make sure the person is able to commit to reaching out for help if they feel they can’t keep themselves safe.

    • “I’m worried about your safety and want to check-in. Do you feel that you can keep yourself safe tonight or reach out to one of these resources if you’re struggling?”

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