Talking Points for Someone at Risk of Suicide

The following suggestions for talking with someone at risk of suicide are adapted from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and various prevention programs:

  • _DSC0451Speak openly and honestly about your concern.  Asking someone directly if they are considering suicide often provides relief.
  • Be willing to listen with compassion and without judgment. Do not express shock or horror.  It is important to listen.
  • Do not try to persuade the individual that their situation is ‘not that bad’.  You really don’t know what their experience is.
  • Do offer to help find support and assistance. Often someone who is considering suicide just cannot see solutions to their problems.  That doesn’t mean that solutions don’t exist.
  • If you can, accompany the person to an Emergency Room, to a therapist, member of the clergy, or other support who can help.
  • Do not promise secrecy.
  • Remove means of suicide or separate the person from the means if you can do so safelyDo not put yourself in danger.
  • After you’ve helped the individual connect with someone who can help, if possible, check in with them, remain involved and supportive.