If you need immediate help,
please dial 911

How To Help Someone Who is Suicidal

Call 911, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - (800)273-8255
What To Say:
  • “Things must really be awful for you to be feeling that way”
  • Let them know you are there to listen
  • Encourage them to share what they are feeling
  • Let them know that people sometimes feel like there is no answer, but that treatment can help them to feel better
  • Tell them you will support them to find help
  • Ask if they have a specific suicide plan. If they do, do not leave them alone, and take away any firearms, drugs, or objects they could use to hurt themselves. Take them to a doctor, mental health professional, or hospital emergency room, or call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for help
    • Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills
    • Calmly ask simple and direct questions, such as “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?” rather than, “Would you rather I call your psychiatrist, your therapist or your case manager?”
    • Talk openly and honestly about suicide. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?”
    • If there are multiple people, have one person speak at a time
    • Ask what you can do to help
    • Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
    • Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
    • If your loved one asks for something, provide it, as long as the request is safe and reasonable
    • If you are nervous, try not to fidget or pace
    • If your loved one is having hallucinations or delusions, be gentle and sympathetic, but do not get in an argument about whether the delusions or hallucinations are real
Do NOT Say:
  • "You have so much to live for"
  • “Think about how this will hurt your family”

Source: American Foundation For Suicide Prevention