If you know someone who is at immediate risk of suicide, call 911 right away. Someone who wants to kill herself should see a doctor, nurse, or mental health professional right away.
If you know someone who might be suicidal, show that you care by:
- Talking to the person. Your willingness to talk about thoughts of suicide with a friend, family member, or co-worker can be the first step in getting her help and preventing suicide. You won’t increase the risk of someone dying by suicide by talking to her about your concerns.
- Sincerely listening to the person. Do not offer advice or judgment, but let her know she is not alone. Don’t worry about saying the exact, correct thing. Your presence in the person’s life is what is most helpful.
- Sharing your concerns. If you feel that she may make a reckless decision, say that you are worried. The person needs to know that she is important to you and that you care.
- Finding out if the person has a suicide plan. If the person has a definite plan, don’t leave her alone, and get help from other friends or family.
- Offering help to find a professional counselor. Many counselors or therapists can see a new patient in an emergency. A person’s insurance plan, doctor, or nurse may be able to recommend someone right away.
- Calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
It can be difficult when a loved one says she is thinking about suicide. All you can do is be supportive and let her know you care. You cannot control or change someone else’s behavior, no matter how much you love her. If a loved one commits suicide, it is not your fault.