Preventing Suicide - What to Do

If someone tells you that they are going to commit suicide, take their words seriously, and get help immediately – even if they tell you to keep it secret. It is better to anger a friend than to lose them forever.

  • Identify. Ask them directly if they are thinking about committing suicide.
  • Intervene. If they are actually attempting suicide in your presence, use any means necessary to safely stop them, and call 911.
  • Connect. Show that you understand that their pain is real.
  • Listen carefully. Just be there and let the person know that you care. Don’t tell them how they should feel or what they should do. Just express your desire to support and help understand what they are feeling.
  • Seek help. Your friend's safety is the number one priority. Talk with them about seeking help, either through a hotline, doctor, school counselor, or clergy. 
  • Attend. Do not leave them alone.

Learn more and see suggestions for what to say at Know the Signs.