Approaching someone who is struggling can be difficult, but it’s worth the discomfort to help save a life.
Ask the person if they think about dying or killing themselves. Don’t hesitate to do this – asking will not put the idea in their head, nor will it make them more likely to attempt suicide.
Start a conversation with the person and listen without judging to show you care. Create a safe space for them to share their feelings and vent. DO NOT swear to secrecy.
Don’t leave the person alone. Stay with them or make sure they are in a private, secure place with another caring person until you can get further help.
If you suspect the person could be a harm to themselves, take them seriously. Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and follow their guidance.
If danger for self-harm seems immediate, call 911. Visit ndbh.com/suicide or talk to your doctor for more resources.
Sources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services; Centers for Disease Control